A suspected agent of Pakistan’s premier spy agency, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), was arrested by Uttar Pradesh Police in Meerut on Saturday. Asif Ali, 52, is accused of bribing contacts in the Indian Army, including two officers, and receiving sensitive information from them.
The special task force (STF) recovered secret army documents from Ali along with a Pakistani passport and a SIM for a Pakistani number. They also found ATM cards, a passbook and a cheque book, a cellphone and several other SIM cards.
According to ADG (law and order) Mukul Goel, Ali was in touch with Madan Mohan Pal and Patan Kumar Poddar, junior commissioner officers with the army posted in Kolkata. He received secret documents from the two and passed these on to the ISI. In return, he deposited money in their bank accounts.
Pal was arrested on December 18 last year while Poddar was apprehended on August 6 this year. Several documents were recovered from their possession too, the ADG said.
In May, after a trip to Pakistan, Ali reportedly developed a contact — the son of an army jawan — in Babina cantonment in Jhansi, UP. He gave the contact a laptop that he could use to pass on information via email, STF IG Sujeet Pandey said, adding that the information mostly pertained to movement of troops and equipment.
A resident of Meerut’s Delhi Gate locality, Ali has been on the ISI’s rolls for eight years, police sources said. He has a wife, Rukshana Kaiser, in Karachi and has made several trips to Pakistan. The sources identified his contact person in the ISI as an officer named Jahid. Jahid, they said, gave Ali a debit card and regularly deposited money in his account.
An STF officer, who refused to be identified, said Ali was arrested after the police received intelligence that several young men were in touch with the ISI and a team was set up to bust the racket. He said the investigation continued and more suspected ISI agents were on the STF’s radar.