The Delhi Police on Thursday gave details of how an espionage ring was busted in the national capital, which led to the detention of a Pakistan High Commission staffer and arrest of two ISI spies on Wednesday. Several defence related maps and secret documents were recovered from the two spies, the police claimed.
The two arrested are Maulana Ramzan Khan and Subhash Jangir, both residents of Nagaur in Rajasthan. Khan is a teacher in a mosque there and Jangir ran a local business that was suffering heavy losses, police said.
“They (all three) were carrying out the activities for the last one and a half years, but we were keeping an eye on them for the last six months,” said a senior police officer.
Mehmood Akhtar, the official in the Pakistan High Commission, was briefly detained and let off because he had diplomatic immunity, the officer said. He was arrested from near the Delhi Zoo, where he was allegedly purchasing “sensitive” documents from an Indian national. Akhtar has been working with the Pakistan High Commission in India for the past three years.
“He was a havaldar in the Baloch regiment of Pakistan army (and) was later hired by ISI. (He) was working in the visa department in the High Commission… They were carrying out the activities since last one and half years, but we were keeping an eye on them for the last six months,” the Delhi Police said.
Joint Commissioner of Police, Crime, Ravindra Yadav, said that all the three, caught from the Delhi zoo, were involved in espionage for over one-and-half years. The trio used to share information with Pakistan’s intelligence agency, ISI.
On initial information after being caught red-handed, the Pakistan official showed a forged Aadhar card with which he tried to depose himself as Mehmood Rajput, the resident of Chandni Chowk. However, later he was identified by the Pakistan High Commission as its employee, Mehmood Akhtar.
The Ministry of External Affairs summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit over the matter and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar told him that the Pakistan mission staffer has been declared persona non-grata for espionage.
“FS (foreign secretary) summons Pak High Commissioner to convey that Pak High Commission staffer has been declared persona non-grata for espionage activities,” foreign ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said on Twitter.
Pak High Commission official Mehmood Akhtar, who was detained by Delhi Police crime branch over espionage charges, carried fake Aadhaar card pic.twitter.com/4QDJG7kwWE
— ANI (@ANI_news) October 27, 2016
This is not the first time that employees of the Pakistan High Commission in India have come under the radar for alleged espionage. Last year, police claimed to have busted an ISI spy ring in the high commission and five persons were arrested.