NEW DELHI: Mehmood Akhtar, the Pakistan High Commission official who was caught for espionage on Thursday, was trying to gather classified information on the deployment of Indian security forces along the western coast, according to an official of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
“There have been intelligence inputs that Pakistan’s ISI was planning to send terrorists through the sea route to carry out a Mumbai-type terror attack in India. Akhtar’s activities and his interests to gather information about the western coast buttress the intelligence inputs,” the official said.
Akhtar, who has been declared persona non grata by the Indian government, is said to have confessed to his espionage activities to Delhi Police, which claims to have a video-recording of his statement.
He has allegedly named a few officers of the Pakistani High Commission to whom he was reporting but police are yet to take action against them as there is no direct evidence of their role.
In further developments in the espionage case, the Rajasthan police arrested another member of the spy ring, Shoaib, a passport agent, for allegedly being in contact with Akhtar.Shoiab, who has since been taken to New Delhi to face charges, is said to have visited Pakistan six times, where his maternal grandparents live.
Investigators said they would try to recover data from a phablet seized from Shoaib’s possession, which he tried to damage when the police in Jodhpur detained him Thursday evening, and question him along with the two other alleged spies, Subhash Jangir and Maulana Ramzan, arrested in the case.
Delhi Police JCP Ravindra Yadav said, “There were some classified documents recovered from him [Shoaib]. A phablet was also found with him. He tried to damage the phablet but we will try to recover the information.”
While Subhash and Ramzan had told the police that Shoaib was also present at the Delhi zoo when they were handing over documents to Akhtar, Shoaib told the police that he was at a hotel at that time.
“He had stayed in the hotel while the other two went to the zoo for handing over documents. When he saw that the mobile phones of the other two were switched off, he sensed something wrong,” said Yadav.