islamic state
A wall painted with the black flag commonly used by Islamic State group militants, near former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein's palace in Tikrit, April 1, 2015. Thaier al-Sudani/Reuters

Three Indian men suspected of joining the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, were arrested Saturday, according to local reports. Authorities at the Anti-Terrorism Squad in the western state of Maharashtra took the men in custody, following an operation conducted jointly by the ATS and police in the neighboring southern state of Telangana, from where the men hailed.

The men, between the ages of 20 and 25 years, were planning to travel to Afghanistan and were arrested at the international airport in Nagpur city in northeastern Maharashtra, before boarding a flight to the north Indian city of Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir, local news website India Today reported.

The police in Maharashtra thereafter handed over the men to the Telangana police. Family members of the men had lodged complaints at different police stations in Telangana reporting that they were missing after the three left their home on Thursday.

In September, four Indian nationals were deported from the United Arab Emirates and detained in the southern Indian state of Kerala over suspected connections to ISIS.

Two of them were taken into custody in Kerala’s capital city of Thiruvananthapuram and the other two were arrested at Kozhikode airport. All four were detained on suspicion of sending out propaganda material and posting it on their social media accounts. They were reportedly part of 11 other suspected ISIS sympathizers whose names India had shared with the UAE.