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ISI shadow: Espionage and politics form murky cocktail in MP

Last Modified Monday, 13 February 2017 (13:16 IST)
Indore: Just days after an 11-member gang – linked to the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and involved in making funds available on the directives of Pakistan-based handlers to secret agents – was busted by the Madhya Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad, Maharashtra personnel have taken a youth into custody during a raid at a dwelling at Khizrabad Colony here.

Sources in the ATS said that the accused, vis-à-vis last night's action, was identified as Jadil Pervez, hailing from Ujjain District's Unhel town. For more than a month, he was staying at his sister's place here. The ATS is questioning Pervez – at the Crime Branch's local office – in connection with a case registered in Mumbai. The youth was in constant touch through social media with an accused apprehended in the Maharashtra capital for anti-national activities.

In another pointer towards the subversive activities of India's western neighbour, Director General of Police Rishi Kumar Shukla revealed that the gang was connected to the ISI. ''The modus operandi was hawala via a parallel phone exchange set up through the medium of the Internet,'' the top officer told the media on Thursday afternoon at the Police Control Room in Ujjain divisional headquarters. The gang's network is suspected of being spread in other states. Certain people associated with telephone companies are also complicit.

A Bhopal court yesterday remanded five members of the gang in police custody till Tuesday.
Jabalpur-residents Sandeep Gupta and Manoj Bharti; Bhopal's Dhruv Saxena, Mohit Agrawal and Manish Gandhi – collared on Thursday – were presented before Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Satish Chandra Malviya.

Satna-resident Balram Singh and Gwalior's Kush Pandit, Jitendra Thakur, Ritesh Khullar, Jitendra Yadav and Trilok Singh Bhadoriya were presented in court on Thursday evening. Balram was remanded till Tuesday, whereas the others were remanded till tomorrow. In excess of 1,000 subscriber interface module cards, SIM boxes and electronic equipment were seized from their possession.

Spies Satvinder and Dadu – arrested in Jammu in November – received money from Balram, who managed several bank accounts and was in constant contact with Pakistani operatives. The gang was busted with the cooperation of Central agencies, as well as agencies of Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh after the espionage case came to light.

Meanwhile, Saxena's photographs with bigwigs have gone viral. He has been described as an office-bearer of the BJYM's Information Technology (IT) Cell. Some posters show him with District BJYM President Anshul Tiwari, though the latter denied of Dhruv being an office-bearer. Yadav is said to be the brother-in-law of a BJP corporator.

The sequence of events assumed political hues with principal opposition Congress state President Arun Yadav demanding an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation or some other federal agency.Communist Party of India (Marxist) state Secretary Badal Saroj yesterday insisted that the leaders be subjected to interrogation.

''The gang's kingpin was an office-bearer of the IT cell. The pictures feature the Chief Minister and several of his ministerial colleagues. This is the 'true nationalism' of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the BJP,'' Mr Saroj said in a statement.(UNI)
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