With the Jammu and Kashmir Police handing over the custody of a Poonch youth to its Punjab counterpart, police in these two neighbouring states have busted an espionage racket having a network spread from Pakistan to Abu Dhabi.
Identifying the youth as Sajaad Hussian of Hari Marhot, sources said he was handed over to a visiting Punjab Police team after it obtained a 15-day transit remand. The Punjab Police arrived following information from its J&K counterpart about Sajaad’s involvement in espionage activities in Mamoon cantonment area.
Earlier this month, Sajaad’s cousin, Irshad Ahmed, was arrested by Punjab Police and some photographs of sensitive army installations in Mamoon Cantonment were found on his mobile phone. Irshad was engaged as a labourer by a contractor Abdul Ghani a resident of Poonch.
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According to sources, Sajjad was taken into custody as a suspect after the state police, which had already been keeping a watch on his activities, detected money entering his bank account from Abu Dhabi. His cousin Irshad Ahmed was also arrested in Pathankot on charges of espionage, and the state police got a tip off about Sajaad from Punjab police officials.
During questioning, Sajjad admitted to having received photographs of Mamoon Cantonment from Irshad, which he had given to one Hafeez Ahmed of Morah Bacchai to deliver it at home. Accordingly, Hafeez Ahmed was also apprehended and the duo were sent to Joint Interrogation Centre for multi agency questioning, sources said, adding that Hafeez had come in contact with ISI during his visit to Pakistan.
During questioning at the JIC, he admitted to having worked for Pakistan and in turn received money from Abu Dhabi, sources said. He also admitted to having received photographs of Mamoon Cantonment from his cousin Irshad, which he then forwarded to his handlers in Pakistan. He, however, had deleted those photographs when taken into custody by police early this month, sources said.
“After he was sent back to Surankot police station from JIC, we informed the Punjab Police about him’’. “They took him from Surankote after obtaining transit remand from the local court,” a police officer said. About Hafeez, the officer said that he continues to be at the JIC.
Sajaad is the third person arrested on espionage charges.