Former Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel Ranjit, who has been arrested for allegedly being a part of a spy ring run by Pakistani intelligence agency ISI, had been dismissed from the defence force on Monday. He was posted in Bathinda and was being monitored by the IAF for 3-4 months. He was caught red handed by Delhi Police giving out vital information.
Ranjit, who hails from Kerala and has been sent to four days in police custody, will be taken to IAF bases in Jaisalmer and Gwalior. He was allegedly sent photos of the two IAF bases to his handlers. Gwalior is the biggest station of IAF fighter jets. He will also be jointly interrogated by the IAF and Intelligence Bureau.
He has been claiming that it was money that was the motivating factor but preliminary investigation has revealed that a woman had lured him and he was then blackmailed. His Facebook posts and some videos too are being analysed.
Intelligence agencies had been monitoring usage of social networking site by defence personnel, particularly those posted in sensitive wings.
Earlier, an Army personnel and a Border Security Force head constable were arrested on charges of espionage. More than six people linked to the armed forces have been arrested so far.
The Delhi Police has leaked details of had in November claimed to have busted an all-India spy ring being run by ISI following the arrest of a serving BSF personnel and four others. They used to supply details of Indian armed forces to the Pakistani authorities. Some of those arrested also allegedly had links with Trinamool Congress in West Bengal.
ISI handler Kafaitullah Khan was arrested for passing on information on deployment of security forces and Indian Air Force for 10 years and is suspected to have contacts in the Army too. Sources said that two of the arrested operatives got documents related to the movement and deployment of Army’s 31st Armoured Division in Jhansi.
The arrested BSF constable is Abdul Rasheed who was posted in Rajouri, Jammu and Kashmir. Rasheed and Kafaitullah Khan are relatives. Rasheed is supposed to be Kafaitullah Khan’s main source.
The police had arrested 52-year-old Irshad Ansari and claimed that the accused is a trained spy who supplied information, maps and photographs of Indian naval vessels and vital defence establishments to the ISI for the past 10 years. Irshad Ansari is a contract labourer at Calcutta Port and an INTTUC (TMC’s trade union wing) member at the Garden Reach Ship Builders Employees’ Union.
The second accused arrested by the Kolkata Police is Ashfaq Ansari, son of Irshad. He is a Political Science student and the general secretary of TMC-led students’ union at Harimohan Ghosh College at the Kidderpore area of Kolkata. He was suspended in October for anti-party activities.
The third arrested is 48-year-old Md Jahangir, Ashfaq’s maternal uncle. He is a tailor by profession and allegedly an expert in making fake passport. The police recovered maps of the Netaji Subhas dock at Calcutta Port and the Garden Reach Ship Builders and Engineers establishment and counterfeit Indian currency of over Rs 3 lakh from their residences.
The trio have been slapped with sections 121 (waging war against state), 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and 489 C (possessing counterfeit currency) and it carry maximum sentence of death or life imprisonment.