How a visa agent became a Pakistani spy

New Delhi, Oct 28 (IANS) Years of procuring Pakistani visas for people in Rajasthan helped Sohaib Nagaur to come in touch with the ISI in the Pakistani High Commission in Delhi and eventually become a Pakistani spy.

Nagaur was the third of the Indians caught following the handover of classified Indian military secrets to a Pakistani High Commission staffer who has since returned home after being declared persona non grata.

As Nagaur was in constant touch with the Pakistan High Commission staff as a visa agent, he was easy prey when the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) decided to recruit him.

That is how the 26-year-old came in contact with Mehmood Akhtar, who worked in the visa section of the Pakistani High Commission.

Nagaur in turn gave birth to a team of spies whose job was to elicit information about Indian Army and Border Security Force (BSF) installations along the Rajasthan and Gujarat border.

On Wednesday, Delhi Police trapped Akhtar when he was receiving military documents from Maulana Ramzan and Subhash Jangir, who like Nagaur were both from Rajasthan. All three men are now in police custody.

Nagaur, however, escaped on Wednesday but was caught on Thursday evening from the Jodhpur railway station. On Friday, Delhi Police got his custody for 11 days from a court.

On Thursday, the Pakistani, Akhtar, was ordered to leave India. Pakistan retaliated by expelling a staffer from the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.

Joint Commissioner of Police Ravindra Yadav said Nagaur had come to Delhi along with Maulana and Jangir on Tuesday by Sampark Kranti train and checked into a hotel in Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi.

When Maulana and Jangir went to meet Akhtar near the Delhi zoo, Nagaur remained in the hotel.

When he realized that Maulana’s and Jangir’s phones had been switched off, he smelt trouble, quit the hotel in a hurry and returned to Rajasthan by train.

Investigators close to the case told IANS on the condition of anonymity that Nagaur had formed a well-knit group of seven to eight spies excluding Maulana and Jangir on the direction of Akhtar.

All the spies were on the payroll of Akhtar, the officer said.

“For three to four years, Nagur was in touch with people in Pakistan High Commission and ISI agents,” the officer said.

Nagaur was tasked to give details of Army and BSF deployment on the Gujarat and Rajasthan border besides recruiting spies.

Police said Nagaur had coughed up information which was concealed by Maulana and Jangir.

“They will be confronted during further questioning,” the officer said.

The investigators are tying to find out why Nagaur visited Pakistan in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009 and 2012.

“He has visited Pakistan around half a dozen times. He said his mother and maternal uncle lived there. He may have met ISI agents during his visits,” one of the investigators said.

Police have recovered some secret documents and a phablet — a smartphone having a screen which is intermediate in size between a typical smartphone and a tablet computer.

Naguar had tried to destroy records from the phablet but detectives are trying to retrieve the data.

Police plan to question his father and four brothers who run a garment shop in Jodhpur.

(Rajnish Singh and Sanjeev Pal can be contacted at rajnish.s@ians.in and sanjeev.p@ians.in)

–IANS

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