Following the arrest of Mohammad Kalam alias Ijaz, an alleged ISI agent who was nabbed by a team of the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) near Meerut railway station on Friday, his family is still coming to terms with the shattering revelation.
“Please don’t tell my father about Ijaz or he will die of a heart attack,” said Shehnaz, his sister-in law. “My sister is eight months pregnant, my brothers will burn her alive if they come to know about this.”
According to the STF, Mohammad Kalam alias Mohammad Ijaz is an ISI agent who originally hails from the Irfanabad area of Islamabad, Pakistan. He was trained by the ISI and was sent to Bangladesh from Karachi with a Pakistani passport in January 2013. On February 9, 2013 with the help of Probeen, a Bangladeshi national, Ijaz sneaked into India and reached the house of Muhammad Irshad of South 24 Pargana, West Bengal.
“Babar, who is the son of my uncle, introduced him to our family and my father, who is a poor mason, agreed to marry my elder sister Asma to him,” said Shehnaz. “We belong to the Azimabad area of Arrah in Bihar and Babar works as a cloth merchant in Kolkata. Whenever we asked him (Ijaz) about his family, he said that he was an orphan and hailed from Kolkata.”
The small marriage function was reportedly organised in October 2014 at Asma’s house. “He remained at our house for a while after marriage and helped my father, but later he decided to move to Bareilly,” said Shehnaz.
Ijaz reached Bareilly in January 2015 and started living in a rented room near the railway station. “He started working with photographers and also made marriage videos,” said Shehnaz. “He never said that he was from Pakistan or had a family there. I was informed that he had a mother, a sister and five brothers in Pakistan only yesterday.”
According to the STF, Ijaz had been deployed to collect information on various military bases in western UP. The force recovered a cache of confidential military information and maps from him. He had allegedly been deployed in place of Asif Ali, another ISI informer, who was arrested in August 2014.
Meanwhile, the sisters Shehnaz and Asma are still trying to come to terms with reality and are thinking of what they are going to tell their father, who will reach Bareilly on Sunday. “He has ruined my life, and the life of my unborn child. Please take me to prison too. My child cannot survive in this society with this reality,” said Asma.