Espionage racket with ISI links busted in Indian states

(From PTI)

An espionage racket having links with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was busted in Jammu and Kolkata, India, on Sunday with the arrest of a serving Border Security Force (BSF)  personnel and four suspected ISI operatives.

The three suspected ISI agents (from left), Mohammed Jahangir , Asfaq Ansari and Irshad Ansar

The three suspected ISI agents (from left), Mohammed Jahangir , Asfaq Ansari and Irshad Ansari

Classified information related to national security were recovered from them.

Kafaitullah Khan alias Master Raja (44), a resident of Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir, and BSF head constable Abdul Rasheed, posted at the intelligence wing of BSF in the same district were arrested by Delhi Police from Jammu railway station, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav said in Delhi.

The two largely passed on information to ISI through e-mail, WhatsApp and Viber networks. Khan, an alleged handler of Pakistan Intelligence Operative, was given specific tasks for gathering information on the deployment of security forces and Air Force Operations, a police official said.

“Khan was a handler of Pakistan Intelligence Operative (PIO) and Rasheed was one of his chief sources. The espionage racket run by them was supported by ISI,” Yadav said, adding that the two were arrested under various provisions of India Penal Code and Official Secrets Act.

Based on tip-offs about ongoing anti-national activities sponsored by Pakistan Intelligence Operative, Delhi Police’s Crime Branch developed a network and a few suspects were identified, a police official said.

On Thursday, Khan had boarded a train from Jammu to Bhopal to allegedly recruit more persons for the espionage racket. He was arrested at the station and documents having implication on national security were recovered from his possession, the officials said.

During interrogation, Khan said he was working as a library assistant in a senior secondary school at Majankote area in Rajouri district.

“In 2013, he visited Pakistan and came into contact with an ISI agent there. He agreed to share with them secret information of the defence forces in exchange of money,” said the official, adding that Khan soon started cultivating sources in the Indian Army and BSF, and some of them allegedly started passing him secret documents.

Head constable Rasheed, his relative, was one among them. Khan soon drew him into the network and offered him a share of the commission he received from alleged ISI agents in Pakistan for exchange of vital information on defense.

In Kolkata, the Special Task Force (STF) of the city police arrested a contract labourer, his son and a relative for their alleged links to the ISI.

Irshad Ansari (51), a contract labourer with Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited (GRSE), his son Asfaq Ansari (23) and relative Mohammed Jahangir — were arrested from Dr Sudhir Bose Road in the Iqbalpur police station area in the southern part of the city, a senior STF officer said.

All the accused are residents of the city’s Garden Reach area. Besides recovering several documents establishing their links to the ISI, the STF also seized fake Indian currency notes (FICN) with a face value Rs 2 lakh from Irshad and Rs 1.5 lakh each from his Asfaq and Jahangir, he said.

“A hand-drawn map of the GRSE and the Netaji Subhas Dock in the city were also seized from Irshad who has been working with the warship building company for quite sometime. We are checking what his intention was or whether he had passed on the maps of any other sensitive area to the Pakistani agency or not,” the officer said.

Meanwhile, according to specific inputs received by Indian intelligence agencies, Pakistan’s ISI recently held a meeting in a camp in POK with chief commanders of top terrorist outfits LeT, Hum and JeM asking them to carry out terror strikes in India.

Some 30 militants from the three outfits have been briefed by ISI and brought close to the LoC to take part in a ‘spectacular’ strike on Indian soil.

The meeting was reportedly headed by an ISI handler identified as Showkat Khan.

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