Gujarat ATS Arrests Jamnagar Resident for Assisting Pakistani Espionage

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Gujarat ATS Arrests Jamnagar Resident for Assisting Pakistani Espionage

| Updated: April 29, 2024 13:33

The Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of Gujarat Police, acting on a tip-off from Military intelligence, arrested an individual suspected of assisting the Pakistani agency, ISI, in spying on Indian defence personnel. The suspect, Mohammad Saqlain, a 22-year-old resident of Bedi village in Jamnagar, was apprehended after a six-month-long investigation.

Saqlain is alleged to have provided an activated SIM card to Labshankar Maheshwari, a former Pakistani citizen who had acquired Indian citizenship. Maheshwari was previously arrested by the Gujarat ATS in 2023 on charges of espionage. Following his arrest, Saqlain went into hiding, but relentless pursuit by law enforcement officials eventually led to his capture.

As per the reports, during a visit to Pakistan in 2022, Maheshwari and his wife were introduced to Saqlain in Jamnagar by a relative, Kishor Ramwani. Upon their return to India, Maheshwari contacted Saqlain, who provided a SIM card and Asghar Modi, who activated it. Modi also supplied Maheshwari with the OTP needed to activate WhatsApp on the said SIM. In mid-2023, the SIM card was sent back to Pakistan through Maheshwari’s sister, who handed it over to Ramwani.

ATS officials revealed that the SIM card was utilised either by a Pakistani defence officer or an intelligence agency officer who dispatched malware to an Indian Air Force personnel stationed in Kargil, compromising his cellphone. “The ISI agents also attempted to infiltrate the computer system by sending malware through an examination link to the phone of an Air Force Jawan named Santosh alias Sintu Sitaram Bhatia, stationed at a highly sensitive air base in Jammu and Kashmir. This posed a significant risk to national security,” the official stated.

Mohammed Saqlain, Labshankar and Asgar have been charged with espionage and waging war against the nation under sections 121-A, 123 and 120 B of the IPC, as well as sections 43, 66 and 66F (1) (b) of the Information and Technology Act.

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