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Dreaded spook or lonely lady?

delhi Updated: Apr 29, 2010 01:47 IST
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Was Madhuri Gupta only a lonely woman in an alien land looking for some male company, and having found it in a Pakistani police officer, kept him hooked by passing off news from the local press as sensitive information?

Might sound a bit stretched. But that's what she is telling her interrogators, according to those close to the investigations. What makes her story credible is that she had no access to any information of any interest to an intelligence agency.

Gupta met Mudassar Rana, her so-called handler, at a funeral. Rana is from the Pakistani police's counterpart of India's special branch. And they struck up a relationship, said sources.

For Gupta it was company, for Rana it was information.

But the information Gupta provided him was completely useless, according to what she told her interrogators: essentially gossipy bits picked up from the local Urdu press — these were her "classified documents" for her friend Rana.

Other sources said Gupta might have revealed a little more to Rana: the true identity of the undercover intelligence officials from India, men and women of the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing posted in Pakistan.

"She could have passed on information like the work profile of officials and the cadres they are from. This information is sensitive and strategic," a source explained.

Madhuri, sources insist, had given out some really inconsequential information in the nature of logistics, such as the vehicles the officials use.

"Beyond this, she could not have had much information," sources said.

"A probe is on to ascertain whether her contacts in India was being used."

"During interrogation, Madhuri gave many names of people she is in regular touch with. Whether they are mere social contacts or whether they have any links to spying need to be found out," said a source.