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Did ISI kill fake notes kingpin?

By bumping off Majid Manihar, Pakistan’s intelligence agency may have wiped clean any proof of link.

india Updated: Oct 08, 2009 01:46 IST

Is Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence behind the killing of one of its own, fake currency dealer Majid Manihar? With Manihar’s murder, it would be difficult for India to prove the role of the ISI in running fake currency rackets to destabilise India’s economy, said senior intelligence officials, who refused to be identified.

Found shot dead at a hotel in Nepal on Tuesday, Manihar began as an aide of Mirza Dilshad Beg, a criminal and Member of Parliament in Nepal.

After Beg’s murder in 1997, he took over the gang and came in direct contact with Pakistan-based underworld don of Indian origin Dawood Ibrahim.

Soon after, Manihar got on the ISI’s payroll and started operating from Nepalganj town in Nepal, sharing borders with Siddharth Nagar in eastern Uttar Pradesh.

The UP police wanted Manihar after an employee of the State Bank of India’s Domariyaganj branch in Siddharth Nagar, Sudhakar Tripathi, admitted on July 29 that Manihar was involved in replacing currency notes worth Rs 1.82 crore in the bank’s chest with fake notes.

The police also had information that Manihar used to run a fake currency racket busted in November 2008. A senior police official said on condition of anonymity that the ISI-behind-the-murder theory was based on the premise that Manihar wanted to surrender before the UP police to strike a deal for his son Vicky, who had been in a UP jail since August 30.

According to another theory, one of Manihar's gang members opened fire on him after a dispute over money. Additional Director General of Police, crime and law and order, Brij Lal, however, said, “The how and why of Manihar’s murder are still not clear.”