December 13, 2016 4:37:18 am
Delhi Police’s Crime Branch last week questioned Samajwadi Party Rajya Sabha MP Munawwar Saleem in connection with an alleged espionage ring busted in October. His personal assistant, Farhat Khan, was arrested last month for allegedly procuring “confidential” defence forces documents.
Police sources said Saleem was called and questioned at the Crime Branch’s Chanakyapuri office for several hours last week. “He was asked about his connections to his PA Farhat Khan and was also given a questionnaire. He did not respond to any of the questions,” a senior police officer said. He added that the Crime Branch had sent a notice to Saleem to join the probe after Farhat’s arrest.
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JCP Ravindra Yadav (crime branch) refused to comment on the questioning of the SP leader but said investigations were on and all aspects had been verified.
Farhat, a native of Kairana in Shamli, was arrested on November 3 from the capital after his name surfaced during the interrogation of Ramzan Khan and Subhash Jangir in October. The duo were arrested during a meeting with Mehmood Akhtar, a staffer in the Pakistan High Commission. The police team had arrested the duo on a tip-off and police claimed to have recovered “sensitive defence documents” from their possession.
Farhat had revealed that he used to communicate with Akhtar using code language. “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 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. Farhat’s two children and wife live in Kairana. His younger brother, who is a roadside vendor, had claimed that his brother was falsely implicated.
Akhtar was allowed to go following several hours of questioning, due to diplomatic immunity.
When contacted, one of Saleem’s family members said he was unavailable for comment.
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