LUCKNOW: Picking up the threads further after breaking an espionage ring by arresting a suspected agent of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) from Didihaat area of Pithoragarh district in Uttarkhand, UP ATS officials claimed that the suspect was being paid in dollars to the tune of Rs 9 lakh per assignment by his ISI handlers while his stay as the cook of an Indian diplomat in Islamabad.
He even used spyware to steal information from Indian diplomat’s laptop and other gadgets to pass it on to the ISI.
UP Anti-Terrosist Squad (ATS), in a joint operation with Army Intelligence unit and Uttarakhand police, had arrested Ramesh Singh Kanyal, 35, from his home in Garali village in Didihaat area of Pithoragarh district on late Tuesday night.
As per ATS sources, Kanyal, who was brought to Lucknow on transit remand, admitted to have indulged in anti-national activities by sharing classified information with ISI in lieu of money. He may be produced in Lucknow court on Friday for extension of remand.
Officials also said that during probe of the three suspected ISI agents Aftab Ali, Altaf Qureshi and Javed Naviwala arrested by ATS last year, it surfaced that they were also in touch with some Indian numbers and one of those numbers belonged to Kanyal who was not only in touch with these three suspects but also with his masters in Islamabad even after his return to Pithoragrah.
Notably, Kanyal worked as a cook with an Indian defence attaché at Indian High Commission in Islamabad for two years. In fact, he had allegedly bugged the house of the diplomat with the help of ISI handlers and used to leak highly confidential information to them in exchange of huge amount of money. “By having bugged the residence of the Indian defence attaché following the directives of his ISI handlers, Kanyal had compromised the position of the diplomat,” said ADG (L&O) Anand Kumar.
“It is believed that Kanyal used to get Rs nine lakh for each piece of document he supplied to ISI officials in Islamabad,” said an ATS official. He added that he was believed to have leaked sensitive information through classified documents, laptop, mobile phone and a diary of the diplomat. However, further interrogation is on and the central agencies are also set to quiz the arrested suspect.
Kanyal was just a farmer in Pithoragarh when he was given the offer of joining the Indian diplomat as domestic help and he was taken along when the diplomat went on Islamabad posting. As per the information, Kanyal’s brother, an Indian Armyman, facilitated his job.
After serving as a cook at the residence of Indian diplomat for over two years between mid-2015 to September 2017, Kanyal returned with huge amount of money to his village in Pithoragarh where he settled his debts to the tune of Rs 8 lakh in one go in 2017. As per his own confession, Kanyal came in touch with ISI through local Pakistani people whom he had befriended during his stay.