The Kashmiri labourer who was arrested from the Mamun Cantonment area on charges of spying used to click pictures of the area with his smartphone and pass them off to his accomplice, who further sent these to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), police sources said. He was on Tuesday booked under the stringent Official Secrets Act, and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) will be interrogating him to ascertain his role, if any, in the January 2 airbase attack in Pathankot that left seven security personnel dead.
Identified as Irshad from Surankot in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, he worked with a local contractor and was on Sunday caught making calls to Pakistan. Irshad’s cousin Sajjad, who is believed to be his Indian handler, too was arrested in Jammu and Kashmir.
Mamun Cantonment is one of the largest and most sensitive military bases of the Indian army. “Disclosure of any information that is likely to affect the sovereignty of India or friendly relations with foreign states is punishable under the Official Secrets Act,” said Pathankot senior superintendent of police RK Bakshi.
Delhi-based intelligence agencies which keep tabs on call traffic to Pakistan had first alerted the army officials at the cantonment about Irshad’s activities, following which the case was registered at the Shahpur Kandi police station.