Police remand to ISI suspect Aftab Ali

The Uttar Pradesh ATS on Wednesday claimed to have busted an espionage racket by arresting a suspected ISI agent from Faizabad and his accomplice from Mumbai besides picking up another suspect for questioning.

The ATS officials claimed he was allegedly lured into ISI network by some officials of Pakistan high commission after his visa to meet his relatives was rejected thrice by the embassy.

The Maharashtra ATS along with UP ATS carried out a raid in Masjid Bunder area in South Mumbai and identified a man named Altaf Qureshi, the second suspected ISI agent has been identified as Javed Iqbal who was arrested from Yusuf Manzil building at Agreepada on Wednesday morning.

Though he managed to hoodwink intelligence and security agencies all this while, his number was deemed suspicious in January when ATS arrested some people for running illegal global call centre (through SIM box) in Lucknow, Hardoi and Sitapur.

"The group, allegedly trained by Pakistan's ISI, has reportedly been asked to target Ayodhya, Varanasi, Vrindavan, and the Taj Mahal in Agra", UP police said. Officials of the ATS have recovered a mobile phone and Rs 71.57 lakh in cash from Qureshi's residence in Mumbai. He will be interrogated to extract information regarding the investigation, a UP ATS spokesman said.

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"Aftab went to Pakistan for first time on May 1, 2014".

During the duo's interrogation, it was found that Javed used to get instructions from Pakistan and at his behest Qureshi often deposited money in Aftab's bank account, he said. Based at Faizabad, Aftab Ali was keeping close watch on movement of forces in Lucknow and eastern Uttar Pradesh when tension had escalated along the border in Jammu & Kashmir after the surgical strike.

Altaf is originally from Rajkot in Gujarat, the cops said. More arrests are likely to be made as other names have also been cropped up following the interrogation.

Investigators are also investigating possible links between Naviwala and Hussain Khan, arrested in a countrywide sweep by Central and State agencies in January 2016.

  • Myrtle Hill