Retired armyman fighter in Kargil war held for Espionage racket

Suspected ISI link realed one person out of three arrested by STF produced at Bankshall court Kolkata on November 30. 2015. Express photo by Partha Paul.

Retired army havildar Munawwar Ahmad Mir, who was arrested on Friday in a cross-border espionage racket for supplying confidential documents to Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), is a 1999 Kargil War veteran and a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), an Indian Express report says.

Mir, who had joined the army in 1995 and retired in 2011, was arrested from Manjakote in Jammu’s Rajouri district by Delhi Police’s Crime Branch and local police. He was produced before the local court and will be brought to Delhi on transit remand by Saturday.

Joint Commissioner of Police Ravindra Yadav said Mir had joined the Army in 1995 and retired in 2011 after serving in several units, including Jammu and Kashmir Infantry and Rashtriya Rifles, in various parts of the country. “He has been booked under 3/9 Official Secrets Act,” he added.

Cop sources said that during preliminary interpellation, Mir denied being a part of the suspected detective racket. Questioned on bank transaction details that show suspected ISI operative Kafaitullah Khan deposited money in his account, Mir said Khan borrowed Rs 25,000 from him and later returned it by depositing it in his account.

He reportedly claimed that he has been implicated by Khan, who has earlier been arrested in connection with the case, said sources.

The Delhi Police, on the other hand, has claimed that they have “crucial evidence” against Mir as Khan had tapped one of his telephonic conversations with Mir where they were talking about “sensitive documents”. PDP MLA Choudhary Qamar Hussain said Mir hails from his native village. “I am sure he is innocent. He fought in the Kargil war.

Many of his relatives were in the Army and it is unexpected that someone from this background will do such a thing. I know him for many years and he has been working for our party for the last one year,” he said. Hussain corroborated Mir’s claims that Khan is trying to frame him. Meantime, police are looking for two serving Armymen and a civilian whose names cropped up during Khan’s interrogation.

These are Farid, posted at Darjeeling; Joginder, posted in Jammu, and Shabir alias Safar, teacher at a state-run school. Police sources said that Khan had revealed during the interrogation that he met “ISI handler” Faisal when he visited Pakistan in 2013 and has been working for him since. “Khan said he first got in touch with Shabir, who introduced him to Mir. Mir in turn convinced Armymen Farid and Joginder,” said the sources. During interrogation, Khan reportedly told investigators that Farid had given a CD to Shabir which contained the “Order of Battle and details of troop movement along the frontiers in case of war between the two countries”. “Shabir later sent the details of the CD to ISI handler Faisal from his computer,” the sources alleged.

Sources claimed that Khan reportedly sent documents to ISI handler Faisal’s email id, [email protected] from his email id [email protected] “He was asked to arrange for details of the total number of fighter planes in Srinagar and areas from where these planes arrived, location of several army units and posting of BSF in Mendhan, Rajouri and Poonch,” the sources added. Police sources further alleged that in 2015, BSF personnel Rasheed, who has been arrested too, joined the suspected racket and allegedly started sending information through Viber and WhatsApp applications.

Sources said Khan told them that Shabir is currently working in the Election Office in Rajouri and is in constant touch with Faisal over the internet. Khan has also reportedly said he and Shabir were planning to visit Pakistan soon. “Safar received Rs 10,000 in two installments of Rs 5,000 from Khan,” they claimed.