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How Pak agents got Mozawalla on their side

mumbai Updated: Dec 17, 2010 03:06 IST
Debasish Panigrahi
Debasish Panigrahi
Hindustan Times
Sajid Abdul Gafoor Mozawalla

As investigation into the espionage case involving Sajid Abdul Gafoor Mozawalla, 28, progresses, his interrogators are increasingly getting a peek into how the two Pakistani officials, Kornel Sahib (Colonel) and Major Sahib, entrapped him through gradual indoctrination.

Mozawalla’s job as visa facilitating agent fetched him a decent income. He would organise visas for people wishing to visit Pakistan to meet their relatives or for Haj pilgrims to Saudi Arabia. For every visa he cleared, he would get between Rs 6,000 and Rs 8,000. Suddenly, two-and-a-half-years ago, the Pakistan High Commission’s office in New Delhi (where the visa applications were cleared) began rejecting his applications. This was despite the fact that he was one of the biggest visa agents doing business there. He had little option but to meet two officials there, Kornel Sahib (Colonel) and Major Sahib, with his grievances (unaware that the two had already set a trap for him).

They immediately instructed lower rung officials to ensure smooth clearance of visa applications made by Mozawalla. A few days later, Kornel asked Mozawalla to collect information (including photographs) available in the public domain.

They were testing his loyalty, checking whether he was approaching Indian agencies. Mozawalla passed.

Mozawalla was assured that his unemployed cousins in Karachi would be given employment. This was followed by his sponsored trip to Pakistan.

The next time he went there, Mozawalla was introduced to senior officials of the Pakistan army in Karachi and other locations (not disclosed due to security reasons). The indoctrination started afterwards, followed by training in selecting the targets and how to shoot them (photographs). He was also given a communication manual (to communicate with Pak handlers by evading Indian agency radars) and asked to complete a course in cargo handling at airports in India.

Indian intelligence agencies, meanwhile, were intrigued by the pace of clearance of visas made through Mozawalla. He was put under observation. It soon became evident why and how he was special to the Pakistanis and he was arrested on December 10.