SAJJAD HUSSAIN, arrested by Jammu and Kashmir Police on charges of spying on February 2, is said to have told Punjab Police who are questioning him that he was lured to go to Pakistan in 2013 to study in an educational institute in Gujranwala with a promised scholarship of Rs 2.5 lakh during the study.
Sajjad was arrested in Poonch after the arrest of Irshad, alleged to be his accomplice in Pathankot.
Sajjad was taken to Pathankot from Jammu on production warrant on February 13 by the Punjab police, A senior Punjab Police official said Sajjad neither got admission in any educational institution nor was he paid any scholarship. In the 11 days he spent in Pakistan, the only money he got was Rs 15,000 in Pakistani currency after two men worked to motivate him to send photographs of sensitive installations in India.
During his interrogation, he also named a “maulvi” in the Poonch area of Jammu who, according to him, motivated J&K youth to opt for scholarship-paid education in Pakistan.
Pathankot Senior Superintendent of Police R K Bakshi told The Indian Express that the “maulvi” had close family links to the head of a political party in J&K.
Sajjad went to Pakistan in September 2103, thinking he was headed to an educational institute for higher studies, Bakshi said, adding that the maulvi assured him that since he had scored 52 per cent marks at pre-graduation standard, he was eligible for admission in a graduation course in a Gujranwala institute where the cut-off was 50 per cent marks.
“The maulvi also told Sajjad that he would be paid scholarship to the tune of Rs 2.5 lakh. But when he reached Pakistan, the persons who received him there said that the cut-off percentage to get admission was 60 per cent or above and hence he is ineligible. Thereafter, two Pakistani nationals, one of whom was named Majid, motivated him to work for them and send the photographs of sensitive installations in India after his return to India. Sajjad was given Rs 15,000 by the duo,” Bakshi said.
SSP said further interrogation of Sajjad was on to get more information and modus operandi of the maulvi who motivated the Jammu and Kashmir youth for scholarship study in Pakistan.
“While motivating Sajjad to go to Pakistan for study and avail of scholarship, the maulvi told him that the only thing he needed to provide him (maulvi) was his passport and four photographs,” Bakshi said. The SSP said Sajjad was BA second year dropout.
Sajjad was arrested by J&K Police on February 2 after Irshad was arrested by Pathankot police for sending him (Sajjad) photographs of strategic installations in Pathankot. Irshad, a resident of Hari village in Surankote, was arrested from Mamoon army cantonment in Pathankot where he worked as a labourer for an optical fibre laying work.
During his interrogation by Pathankot police, he named Sajjad as his “handler”. After being brought from Jammu, Sajjad was produced before a court in Pathankot and sent to police remand till February 18.
Police have also arrested a resident of Talwandi Mallian village in Moga district, Sandeep Malhi, in connection with the espionage case.
According to Bakshi, Sajjad and Sandeep came in contact with each other while working at a call centre in Chandigarh. The SSP said Sajjad had done a three-month training course to work at call centre.