Espionage case: Pizza, burger, coffee were code words used by Farhat used on phone

Among the mission staffers Farhat communicated with is Mehmood Akhtar, who was declared persona non grata and ordered out of the country by the Ministry of External Affairs.

Written by Mahender Singh Manral | New Delhi | Updated: November 4, 2016 7:18 pm
Munavvar Saleem, Pakistan High Commission staffers, Mehmood Akhtar, Ansal Plaza, Farhat, Pakistan India, latest news, India news, latest news, India news Farhat in police custody on Saturday

Initial interrogation of 45-year-old Farhat, the personal assistant of Samajwadi Party Rajya Sabha MP Munavvar Saleem, has revealed that he used to communicate with Pakistan High Commission staffers using code language, police sources told The Indian Express.

Among the mission staffers Farhat communicated with is Mehmood Akhtar, who was declared persona non grata and ordered out of the country by the Ministry of External Affairs.


“Farhat said he would use the word ‘pizza’ if they wanted to meet at Ansal Plaza in South Extension. ‘Coffee’ meant the meeting location was Preet Vihar, while ‘burger’ stood for Pitampura. ‘Pepsi’ meant they would meet in the same place as the last time,” police sources said, giving details about the interrogation.

WATCH VIDEO: Faceoff Escalates Between India & Pakistan: Find Out What Happened

Farhat, a father of four, was picked up from Saleem’s residence on Friday evening and was questioned by officials of the Crime Branch inter-state cell at their office in Chanakyapuri. He was arrested Saturday afternoon after prolonged questioning.

According to police sources, Farhat also disclosed that if he wanted to convey that he had got classified documents, he used to tell mission staffers: “Kaagaz aur kalam lekar aa jaunga (I will come with a pen and paper).”

Investigators said they plan to call a woman journalist, named by Farhat during interrogation, in for questioning.

“Apart from revealing the code language, he also said that there was a young woman journalist whom he met around eight years ago when she came to interview several MPs. He said they became good friends and he later introduced her to the Pakistan High Commission staffers,” police sources said.

Farhat’s name first cropped up in the investigation when Akhtar, in his statement, said that the two met near Mandi House Metro station and kept in touch.

Akhtar also mentioned the names of a few other people currently posted at the Pakistan High Commission but police said they are yet to verify his claims.

WATCH VIDEO: Pakistan Recalls 6 Staffers After Espionage Case

Meanwhile, the investigating officer, while producing Farhat before Duty Magistrate Arun Kumar Garg on Saturday, told the court that Farhat has to be confronted with other arrested men to unearth a larger conspiracy. Farhat has been sent for custodial interrogation till November 8.

Police sources said that more people are likely to be apprehended in connection with the espionage ring, and more documents and other evidence likely to be recovered.

Investigators said the accused will be brought face-to-face with each other, and also taken to several places as part of the probe.

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  1. C
    Chandrashekhar Deshpande
    Oct 30, 2016 at 1:30 am
    Is SP and its Gang is becoming mini ISIS?
  2. D
    Deepak Singh
    Oct 30, 2016 at 4:43 am
    First a BJP worker and now a SP leader's PA ,next who knows which party is going to be caught in this spy racket. But we should be cautious because I find it odd that a trained spy from the Pak army started blurting out everything within 3 hours in custody. Even slightly experienced criminals take longer than that to break by torture.
  3. P
    Oct 30, 2016 at 4:37 am
    Show a chronic failure of Indian intelligence. Why for so long they were not detected. Modi ji is spending a lot of tax payers money for self advancement and not like Raj Rishi. That money could be used for upgrading our intelligence activities and tools.
  4. R
    Oct 30, 2016 at 5:00 am
    Indian intelligence according to you was perfect till Modi came. Suddenly it became chronic failure, eh? Shows who you are stani "pawan"!
  5. P
    Oct 30, 2016 at 4:53 am
    Deepak, it is in the standard training manuals of international spies that when caught speak out the immediately verifiable truths. His status and position in stani army could have been easily verified. Moreover, just because he is a stani spy it does not mean that he will be privy to all the secrets of stan. He blurted out whatever he was trained to blurt out. He blurted out the verifiable truths.
  6. P
    Oct 30, 2016 at 3:06 pm
    Moreover, remember that this chap was under the constant radar of Indian intelligence agencies like Military Intelligence, Intelligence Bureau, SB, DSB etc for 24x7. So, our intelligence agencies had enough on him to confront him with during interrogation. Our agencies knew of his contacts, codes they used, their drop zones etc. May be our agencies even knew how many times a day he sneezes, when is he likely to sneeze next (for example on the lighter side). So, he had no other options but to come out with the verifiable truths. Also re!ember that he had diplomatic immunity. Which limits the time duration of holding him under our custody. Interrogating a confirmed enemy spy holding diplomatic immunity is a complex and critical process. But, yields results if the agencies do their homework properly. In this case our intelligence agencies did their homeworks well.
  7. P
    Oct 30, 2016 at 3:07 am
    If proven to be in collusion with stani spies then slap sedition cases against;br/gt;-lt;br/gt;India needs to have a TRAITOR LIST for public to;br/gt;-lt;br/gt;Anyone working against the integrity of India amounting to waging a war against it should be declared a traitor deserving to be tried for;br/gt;-lt;br/gt;Let us keep it simple.
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