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Hunt on for mystery ISI man in Delhi

Days after they nabbed a Pakistani woman suspected to be involved in espionage activities, the Delhi Police are looking for two to three other ISI operatives who were supposed to be her ‘domestic handlers’. Jatin Anand reports.

delhi Updated: Dec 21, 2011 01:43 IST
Jatin Anand

Days after they nabbed a Pakistani woman suspected to be involved in espionage activities, the Delhi Police are looking for two to three other ISI operatives who were supposed to be her ‘domestic handlers’.

The leader of this trio of ISI operatives is suspected to be in direct contact with the Bhatkal brothers operating from Karachi. This mystery man, sources claim, was supposed to liaison directly with Soofia Kanwal, 38, and her associate Imran, who was posing as a businessman from Ahmedabad.

“The semantics of terror are such that one module doesn’t know what the other is up to unless required. Soofia was supposed to be introduced to her domestic handler by Imran and wait for further orders,” said a senior police officer.

Hailing from Sharifabad in Karachi, Soofia and Imran were arrested from the New Delhi Railway Station by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police early this month.

Apart from the man chosen to be Soofia’s handler, sources claim, investigators are yet to rule out the presence of a thriving network of ISI operatives of a similar profile as that of Imran.

“Imran had been contacted by the ISI after he was in need of financial assistance when his textile business went bust. How often do terror outfits approach the needy? There is certainly an underground network of the ISI that exists in the country,” the officer said.

The Special Cell is combing the entire country for this network — especially Chennai from where two Indian Mujahideen operatives were arrested in late November.
Never to have been on the terror radar, Chennai, sources said, was the best choice to establish a base for a terror cell by the IM — just like the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) had established one before the Batla House encounter in 2008.

“After the Batla House incident, each terror attack perpetrated at any metropolitan city was carried out with the help of local boys. The IM seems to be a mere frontal organisation for the ISI in the country,” the officer added.