Aide to Samajwadi Party MP arrested in Pakistan spy ring probe

Police said Farhat, the personal assistant, played an “integral role” in espionage and provided documents to mission staffers including Mehmood Akhtar who was declared persona non grata.

By: Express News Service Written by Mahender Singh Manral | New Delhi | Updated: November 4, 2016 7:18 pm
espionage, espionage case, spy, pakistan spy, pakistan high commission, pakistan envoy, Mehmood Akhtar, vikas swarup, latest news, india news, indian express Mehmood Akhtar was declared persona non grata. (File)

Probing a spy ring that has led it to the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, the Crime Branch of Delhi Police has arrested the personal assistant of Samajwadi Party Rajya Sabha MP Munavvar Saleem for allegedly passing on classified documents, including those related to defence and shipping, to Pakistan mission staffers.

Police said Farhat, the personal assistant, played an “integral role” in espionage and provided documents to mission staffers including Mehmood Akhtar who was declared persona non grata and ordered out of the country by the Ministry of External Affairs. Akhtar was allegedly caught receiving classified papers on October 26.

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Produced in a Delhi court Saturday, Farhat has been sent to police custody for ten days. Rajya Sabha MP Munavvar Saleem told reporters in Vidisha that he was not aware of the activities of his personal assistant who he had hired eleven months ago. He said he would extend all cooperation to investigation agencies. He said Farhat had worked for other MPs before him. He said he would write to the Rajya Sabha secretariat to take away all facilities extended to Farhat.

In Lucknow, Samajwadi Party spokesperson Deepak Mishra said Munavvar Saleem belongs to Madhya Pradesh and his personal assistant has no association with the party. Mishra said the party will speak to Saleem and ask him to clear facts. Mishra said the SP is against anti-national activities and no party member can be involved in such acts.

Farhat’s arrest is the fourth in the case. Earlier, police had arrested Maulana Ramzan and Subhash Jangir, residents of Nagaur in Rajasthan, for passing documents to Akhtar. A third accused, Shoaib, was detained in Jodhpur and brought to Delhi where he was placed under arrest.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Ravindra Singh Yadav said, “We have arrested Farhat and are going to interrogate him. He had been involved (in espionage) for many years. We believe he played an integral role.”

Sources said Farhat was picked from Munavvar Saleem’s house after Akhtar named him during questioning. “Farhat told police he had been associated with political leaders since 1996 and had worked for four MPs, including the late Munawwar Hasan, MP from Muzaffarnagar who died in a road accident in 2008,” police sources said.

Questioned before being turned over to the Pakistan High Commission, Akhtar claimed that Farhat had been in touch with him for the last one-and-half years, and that he was told about Farhat by his former colleagues at the mission.

“Farhat disclosed he had given documents related to the ministries of external affairs, defence and shipping to Akhtar. He used to get sums ranging between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 2 lakh in return for every document. He had even passed on Parliament questionnaires. He was in constant touch with staffers of the Pakistan High Commission,” police sources said.

Farhat initially tried to mislead investigators, sources said, but confessed after he was confronted with technical evidence, including phone call detail records which showed him in conversation with staffers of the Pakistan mission.

“In 1998, while working as PA of one of the MPs, he came in contact with Pakistan High Commission staffers when he went to the mission for visa-related work. The staffers there lured him in the name of religion and money and he started helping them. He even provided them annual reports of the ministries of science and technology, water resources and civil aviation,” police sources said.

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  1. M
    Oct 30, 2016 at 2:09 am
    Slowly mullah AZAM KHOR's name will also float to surface,-----since he is the king pin of the spy ring,---no wonder why he at times spoke in favour of PORKY's,----w of SP members needs to be investigated and SC should suspend all party activities of SP until full investigation is complete,---mullah AZAM KHOR and his supporters should than be directed to TIHAR for life.
    1. R
      Oct 30, 2016 at 2:58 am
      Unless you use technology and good human intelligence you can't even dream of protecting the country. When the most important task becomes doing the politician job and making money, the real job goes out. The hard working officers are relegated to the back.
      1. R
        Oct 30, 2016 at 1:36 am
        Is our intelligence so poor that he was spy for 20 years?wow
        1. V
          Oct 30, 2016 at 4:28 am
          It seems that there are two types of Muslims the first one are those abide by the law of the land and feel a connection with India the second ,a smaller group, who feel that they are living in India under duress.They, it seems are suffocated by the sight of other religions and culture and feel that India should become part of stan and must be ruled by sharia;br/gt;These people intentionally distorts the meaning of democracy and demand freedom to do any thing, even if that means undermining our national interest.These people must be made to recognise that the freedom in a democracy comes with a very strong caveat of obligations.And it is the duty of our government to take away that freedom from those who don't abide by it.They must be treated as if they are aliens who are bend up on harming this country and it's people- they have no rights.
          1. V
            Oct 30, 2016 at 4:47 am
            Give us a break Mr.MP. Are you saying your personal istant is doing this fifth column activity under your nose with out you having any knowledge of it? Are you that busy taking care of the the indian citizen"s interest in the parliment that you don't have any time to check the activities of your P.A.or are you sleeping on the job, in the air conditioned comfort afforded to you by;br/gt;In other democracies acts bordering on treason and aiding and abetting treason will carry 25 years. It would be interesting to see how these villains will fare under our democracy.May be they will get off scot free with an apology for not being secular enough.
            1. G
              Girija Nandini
              Oct 30, 2016 at 11:07 am
              it is just the trailor,many prominent figures will come in to lime light.RAW and IB should form a competent team consisting of most intelligent officers with transparent track record to investigate the matter.A thorough investigation must be done for all the people working with top politicians,bureaucrats and military officials this case the MP should resign and should not occupy any govt position till the investigation is completed.After all it is a matter of grave concern.
              1. C
                Oct 30, 2016 at 10:41 am
                Hang all traitors.
                1. J
                  jayaram reddi
                  Oct 30, 2016 at 1:29 am
                  where is Azam Khan? What does he have to say? We would like to hear from him.
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