The Punjab Police on Wednesday arrested a man from Kolkata and his associate for cross-border espionage on behalf of Pakistan’s ISI.
“In the relentless drive to break the nexus of Pakistan ISI and traitorous persons who supply classified information to compromise sovereignty, integrity and security of the state, Punjab Police busted a cross border espionage network,” said Punjab Police in an official statement. The arrested spies have been identified as Zaffar Riaz, a resident of Kolkata’s Entally and his associate Mohd Shamshad, a resident of Bihar’s Madhubani.
“In an intelligence-led operation, state special operation cell Amritsar has arrested Zaffar Riaz, and his associate Mohd Shamshad, who was now living in a rented place in Mirakot Chowk of Amritsar,” stated the Punjab Police.
They have been booked under sections of the Official Secrets Act, and IPC while further investigation into the case is underway to ascertain the damage caused by them.
“In this connection, a case under sections of Official Secrets Act, and IPC has been registered in Amritsar. Investigations are being conducted to assess the amount of damage caused by the accused,” said the statement.
During preliminary investigations, it has come to notice that in 2005, Zaffar got married to a Pakistan national Rabia, a resident of Model Town in Lahore. Initially, Rabia stayed with him in Kolkata but after his accident in 2012, his financial condition got worse and at his in-laws’ insistence, he shifted to Lahore. Zaffar frequently travelled to India on the pretext of his treatment.
During this period, he got in touch with a Pakistan Intelligence Officer (PIO) namely Awais who claimed to be working in the FRRO office in Lahore. The accused was persuaded by the PIO to work for ISI as a result of which during his visits to India, the accused clicked photographs and videos of Indian Army buildings, vehicles, etc, and shared the same via encrypted apps.
During the preliminary inspection of his mobile phone, those photographs and videos have been found, said police.
Zafar introduced Mohd Shamshed to Awais. Shamshad revealed that he runs a lemonade cart opposite Amritsar railway station. He said that he clicked and shared the photographs of the Air Force station and Cantonment area of Amritsar with Zaffar multiple times who further sent those photographs to Awais.
Both will be produced in the court for police remand.