A Pakistani diplomat and two others nabbed in India for espionage
India arrested two citizens and said it was expelling a Pakistani high commission staffer for “espionage activities” on Thursday after busting a ring that collected documents on defence deployment and border area maps.
A staff member from the Pakistani High Commission based in India will be expelled, after he was caught in possession of sensitive data on the Indian army by New Delhi police. Two others of Indian nationality have also been arrested in connection with the case that is expected to add further strain to ties between the two warring neighbours.
The two Indian citizens arrested were identified as Maulana Ramzan and Subhash Jangir, both residents of Rajasthan, were nabbed for allegedly passing on sensitive information to the diplomat, identified as Mehmood Akhtar.
Police arrested Mehmood, after six months of tailing him. He was reportedly held with classified documents and maps related to the Indian Army’s defence positions.
Following the arrest, India’s External Affairs Ministry summoned Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit. After Mehmood was interrogated by Indian authorities, he was released thanks to diplomatic immunity. CNN News 18 said on Twitter, however, that he has been declared persona non grata and was asked to leave India.
— News18 (@CNNnews18) 27 October 2016
“The spies are residents of Rajasthan working for Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). The spies were in touch with the staff here at Pakistan High Commission and were providing sensitive information,” a senior police officer was quoted saying.
Delhi police officer Ravindra Yadav informed the media that the two individuals were purposely placed in the visa section of the commission and would lure people into committing the espionage on behalf of Pakistan. They were also paid for their deed. He added that police received intelligence indicating that the men were going to meet with one another the Delhi zoo.
Tensions between India and Pakistan have been running high since the Sept 18 attack at an Indian army base in Kashmir, near the highly-militarized Line of Control (LoC) dividing the two nuclear-armed neighbours.
(Additional reporting from CNNnews18)