The special task force (STF) of Kolkata Police have arrested the brother of suspected ISI agent Akhtar Khan, now in police custody, also for his alleged links with the Pakistani agency, a senior official said Monday.
The STF arrested Zafar Khan from his Collin Lane residence in central Kolkata Sunday. He was produced in the Bankshall court, which sent him to police custody till November 29. An STF officer said they had asked Zafar “a few questions in connection with his brother. But he failed to answer to our satisfaction”.
Zafar was arrested based on information provided by Akhtar during interrogation. “Zafar used to assist Akhtar in spying. They lived together in Karachi. Zafar has a passport of Pakistan and we suspect that they also recruited other agents for ISI and were expanding their network in Kolkata,” said a senior STF officer.
Several documents, including an ATM card of a Pakistani bank, were also recovered from their residence, the officer said, but did not divulge the name of its holder. A number of classified documents were also recovered from the house. “These documents, some of them maps, are highly classified. We are trying to figure out how he procured the documents and also what he intended to do with them, whether or not he has sent these documents to his handlers and what other documents or information he has relayed to them,” said a police source.
The police said that Zafar too had travelled to Pakistan along with Akhtar in 1980s and after staying there for around 20 years returned to India.
Zafar, just like his brother, has been booked under IPC sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 121 (waging or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against the Government of India), 121A (conspiracy to commit offences punishable by section 121), 122 (collecting arms etc with intention of waging war against the Government of India), 489B (using as genuine forged or counterfeit currency notes or bank notes) and 489C (possession of forged or counterfeit currency-notes or bank-notes).
A senior officer said names of three persons, hailing from Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar, have surfaced during Akhtar’s interrogation. Though the role of these three persons were yet to be established, Kolkata Police sleuths suspected that they acted as “information carriers” and smuggled in money through hawala channels. The sleuths came to know that lots of business transactions were routed through several bank accounts in foreign countries.
The STF is conducting searches in and around the city for Akhtar’s accomplices.
“There can be more people involved with these two persons. They worked in a chain system… We have got hold of two but the chain can be a long one. We are trying to locate them,” the officer said. Akhtar (51) was arrested by STF on November 14. He had returned from Pakistan in 2008.
— With PTI inputs