How Security Agencies Dug Out Pakistan's Spy Network In Kashmir

8 December 2015
India Today
Shashankh Shekhar

New Delhi: The arrest of nine suspected Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spies from across the country is just the tip of the iceberg of Pakistani agents' web, according to sources in the intelligence agencies. The central security agencies suspect that the ISI has managed to plant spies across the country and the network is deep-rooted. They have also managed to establish links in government organisations, including defence establishments. The recent arrest of serving BSF head constable and an army jawan for leaking sensitive information has exposed ISI's reach within the defence forces. However, intelligence agencies managed to break through the network after months of surveillance, by which they could give specific inputs to state police and this eventually led to the arrests. According to a source, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) launched a major operation against collection of such information and they zeroed on suspected spies after intercepting calls and web communication. 'A massive search operation was carried out after which each of the alleged spies was monitored. We intercepted many calls, which established their link with the ISI. After confirming their involvement, the state police were informed, who almost at the same time arrested them,' said a source in an intelligence agency while adding that it was an intelligence operation, which was monitored by a central agency. Sources claim that IB had specific input of Kafaitullah Khan, who was the first person arrested by the Delhi Police Crime Branch from New Delhi station and Pakistani national Mohammand Ejaz, who was arrested by Uttar Pradesh Special Task force from Meerut. It was only through intensive surveillance that the security agency arrested Khan while he was on his way to Bhopal for a religious gathering. He was accompanied by 50 more people from Rajouri district. Police claim he was going there to recruit people, who could help him in gathering of information. Similarly, the IB shared the location of Mohammad Ejaz with UP STF as they had tracked his movement in various locations in UP, Bihar and West Bengal. However, each of the state police claims that arrest were the result of their own surveillance and investigation. 'Our teams were involved in the case for long. Teams had also worked in Jammu and Kashmir, through which we got vital leads. All the other arrests were made after interrogating Kafaitullah Khan,' a senior officer of the Delhi Police Crime Branch said. On the same line, the STF claims that their surveillance gave Ejaz's information. Investigators disclosed that the spies were leaking sensitive documents along with the location and strength of army units. They were passing details on app-based communication like WhatsApp. Delhi Police claims that an official of the Pakistan High commission was going to help Khan get a visa to travel to Pakistan. Khan was supposed to take further training there and return to India to increase the ISI's base. The concern for intelligence is to identify spies, who are still spread across the country and have gone silent after the breakthrough. Intelligence agencies said most spy agencies do not rely on the Internet for information and prefer having first hand information. The ISI, for long, is trying to increase its network base in India The IB says that in the cases that they have come across so far, the information has been regarding government policy, defence set up or statements by politicians. However some cases are serious, where the ISI has asked for specific details of important places along with pictures and other logistics. The UP STF had found that Ejaz allegedly sent recordings of the landing of Mirage 2000 on the Yamuna Expressway in Greater Noida. The IB has found that many Indians, who travel to Pakistan legally, are being lured into becoming spies. Many Indians visit Pakistan in order to meet their relatives or for some other work.