Faroquee Ahmed Gulam Hasan Naiku, the J&K resident who was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly spying for Pakistan-based terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen, had been recruiting fresh cadre for the terror group in the Valley since the past four years, the police said on Wednesday.
Crime branch sources privy to Naiku’s interrogation said the 37-year-old had recruited more than six youngsters, who are now engaged in espionage. Naiku himself used to do spy work before he fled the Valley in 2008.
The young boys, sources said, were in regular touch with Naiku through Internet and fed regular updates and photos of troop movement and other counter-insurgency operations (including encounters) in four districts —Poonch, Baramula, Rajouri and Uri — that the terror group has focused on.
“Naiku would collate information and images and save those as drafts in e-mail folders, which would be accessed by his handlers across the border at irregular intervals. They would be downloaded and then deleted,” sources said.
An official said Naiku, who has been active since 2001, fled from J&K after intelligence agencies got wind of his activities. He first moved to New Delhi, where he lived under the cover of a Kashmiri dry fruit trader. “He was engaged in pumping money [sent from across the border] into the Valley through hawala operators. The money was used not only to hire fresh cadre for espionage, but also to hire stone-throwers during protest rallies,” a source said.
After the Delhi police rounded up one of the hawla operators he was in touch with, Naiku fled from Delhi and came to Navi Mumbai. “His uncle has been supplying dry fruits to APMC market since ages,” a source said, explaining that the connection helped Naiku get into trading in the market.