The Uttar Pradesh ATS have arrested an ISI agent from Chandauli district in a joint operation with military intelligence. The accused Mohd Rashid was passing information to his handlers in Pakistan since March 2019.
According to ATS officials, Rashid had taken photographs of army installations and was sending them to Pakistan.
He had also done recce of CRPF installations.
ATS officials said that the accused Rashid had confessed that he had received training in Pakistan twice.
The military intelligence had received a tip off in July last year that a youth from Varanasi is passing on critical information to Pakistani Intelligence agencies through WhatApp.
The agency tracked the input through discreet surveillance and analysis with support from other central agencies.
Finally, a joint team of Military Intelligence and UP ATS was formed to identify the suspect and neutralize him.
After weeks of reconnaissance, physical surveillance and questioning of preliminary suspects, it emerged that Mohd Rashid was the individual who had been passing information to Pakistan. He was called for questioning on January 16, 2020.
He was finally arrested on Sunday after initial questioning and examination of his mobile device and his involvement with Pakistani intelligence agency was revealed.
Mohd Rashid, 23, was staying with his maternal grandfather and uncle in Chandauli district of UP as his parents had got divorced and both had remarried.
After passing class 8, Rashid began working at a tailoring shop and then at a medicine shop in Varanasi. He then shifted to fixing flexi-signages.
Mohd Rashid had relatives in Pakistan and had visited them in 2017 and 2018 for marriage functions. During his visits, he fell in love with his cousin Anam.
During his second visit in 2018, he was introduced to two ISI personnel by his cousin Shazeb.
The two befriended Mohd Rashid and asked him to provide Indian numbers for their use on WhatsApp and photos/videos/information on movement and deployment of Army units.
He was also asked to send similar information on sensitive places and protests/rallies in India. They promised him money and assured to help him marry his cousin in Karachi.
Mohd Rashid agreed to work for them and continued to remain in frequent touch with his handlers, despite warning by his uncle in Karachi.
Apart from facilitating his Pakistani handler in getting Indian WhatsApp numbers, he had also shared photos and videos of several places, including Kashi Vishwanath temple, Air Force Selection Board office, Gyanvapi Mosque, Sankat Mochan temple, Cantt railway station, Dashashwamedh Ghat (in Varanasi), Agra Fort (UP), Naini Bridge and Ardh Kumbh Mela (in Prayagraj), CRPF camps in Chandauli and Amethi, Gorakhpur railway station, Renukoot Thermal Power Plant in Sonebhadra, India Gate in Delhi, Ajmeri Sharif in Rajasthan and Nagpur railway station in Maharashtra.
Apart from that, he also sent videos and photos of recent protests at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and anti-CAA/NRC protests in Lucknow on being asked by his Pakistani handlers. The last known communication of Mohd Rashid with his handlers was on January 13, 2020.
Rashid's handlers also asked him to take a shop on rent near Army installation in Jodhpur to monitor movements of the latter. He was assured a sum of Rs 1 lakh and monthly rental of Rs 10,000-15,000 for the same.
Rashid has been booked under Section 123 (concealing with intent to facilitate design to wage war) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) by the police.
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