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Espionage racket with ISI links busted in Jammu, Kolkata

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New Delhi/Kolkata: An espionage racket with ISI links was busted in Jammu and Kolkata in two separate incidents today with the arrest of a serving BSF personnel and four suspected ISI operatives from whom classified information having implications on national security were recovered.

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 Border Security Force in the same district were arrested by Delhi Police from the railway station at Jammu, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav said in Delhi.

Information was largely passed through e-mail, Whatsapp and Viber networks with Khan, an alleged handler of Pakistan Intelligence Operative, being given specific tasks mainly concerned with the deployment of security forces and Air Force Operations, a police official said.

“Khan is a handler of Pakistan Intelligence Operative (PIO) and Rasheed was one of his chief sources. The espionage racket run by them is supported by Pakistan’s ISI,” Yadav said, adding that the duo has been arrested under various provisions of IPC and Official Secrets Act.

Based on tip-offs about ongoing anti-national activities sponsored by Pakistan Intelligence Operative, which suspectedly has a network spread over civilian handlers and security forces personnel, 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 and was about to leave for Bhopal to allegedly recruit more persons in the espionage racket. He was apprehended by a police team at the railway station there and “documents having implication on national security” were recovered from his possession, he said.

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

“In 2013, he visited Pakistan and came into contact with 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 was his relative and Khan soon roped him into the network, luring him with a share of the commission he received from alleged ISI agents in Pakistan.

Soon, the police raided Rasheed’s residence too and recovered more secret and confidential documents from his premises in Rajouri district.

In Kolkata, the Special Task Force of the city Police arrested a contract labourer, his son and another relative for their alleged links to the Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (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 this afternoon 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, he said.

Besides recovering several documents revealing 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.