LUCKNOW: The UP ATS on Thursday nabbed two more operatives in Mumbai in a joint operation with Mumbai police following the arrest of an ISI agent Aftab Ali in Faizabad. With the latest arrests, the number of suspected ISI agents held so far in the case has gone to three.
According to ADG (Law and Order) Aditya Mishra, while working on the leads provided by Aftab who was arrested in Faizabad on Wendesday, it surfaced that he was paid money for the task assigned by his ISI handlers in Pakistan.
"On following the financial trail, we found out that Mumbai-based Altaf Qureshi, also an ISI agent, had transferred some money to Aftab's bank account late last year," said the ADG.
He further revealed that Qureshi was picked up from South Mumbai with the help of Mumbai ATS Wednesday night.
"Following the trail further, another agent Javed Iqbal, a hawala dealer on whose instructions Aftab was being sent money by Qureshi, was also arrested from Yusuf Manzil in Agripada locality on Thursday morning by ATS sleuths in Mumbai," he added.
During the ATS raids, a mobile and approximately Rs 70 lakh were recovered from the possession of Altaf Qureshi, claimed the ADG.
The UP ATS is trying to bring both the arrested agents to Lucknow on a transit remand for further interrogation, he said.
Mishra said all three agents were in constant touch with a Pakistani diplomat Meherban Ali. In fact, Meherban Ali was one among the eight Pakistani diplomats who were expelled by the Indian government last year.
Meherban Ali used to play the point man in India and issued instructions to Aftab to collect information about military installations, troop movement and regimental deployments in Lucknow and Faizabad area.
“Most of the information has been pictographic in nature which was being transferred to Meherban Ali to be ultimately delivered to Pakistani intelligence agency bosses,” the ADG stated.
A number of incriminating documents, maps and pictures of the military installation in Lucknow and Faizabad were recovered from the possession of Aftab, he said hoping that the police would be able to eradicate the racket completely on the basis of the information extracted by two other operatives held in Mumbai once they were brought to Lucknow and thoroughly interrogated.
Sharing the details of how the Aftab was trapped by the ISI handlers in Pakistan, ADG Mishra said that he had some relatives in the neighbouring country and wanted to visit them. In the process, he came in touch with Pakistan High Commission and was indoctrinated during four of his visits to that country.
Aftaab's first Pakistan visit was in May 3, 2014 through the Wagah border and he stayed at the Green Tower in Karachi. "There he met his ISI handlers who indoctrinated him," said the ADG.