Vishal, a 25-year-old student from Pune, Maharashtra, was found guilty of espionage and given a seven-year prison term in 2007. He had fallen in love with Fatima Sallahudin Sha, whom he had met through Yahoo Messenger.
Fatima identified herself as a Pakistani and stated that her father was a former officer in the Pakistani Army. Fatima and Vishal exchanged personal information before she accepted Vishal’s marriage proposal with the condition that he must convert to Islam. Vishal was allegedly lured by her father’s offer to relocate him to London and manage a business there.
According to the report, the case involved an ISI agent as well as two employees of the Pakistan High Commission.
Syed S Hussain Tirmizi, an employee at the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, was contacted by Vishal and reportedly helped arrange for his visa to Pakistan. Vishal allegedly received military training for “terrorism activities” while he was there, and was instructed to gather data about Army facilities and religious sites in Pune.
According to the police, who were cited in the report, Vishal was detained for breaking the Official Secrets Act (OSA), and they stated that he intended to give this information to Pakistan.
The National Defence Academy (NDA), Bombay Engineering Group (BEG), Southern Command, and other sensitive locations, such as the Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Temple and the RSS office “Motibag” in Pune, were among the buildings on CDs with photographs that the police reportedly found. The cops also looked into Vishal’s conversations with Muslim clerics in Pune and his emails with Fatima.
Sixteen years later, Sallahudin Sha and his daughter Fatima Sha are still listed as “wanted” in the 2007 espionage case records.
The consequences of engaging with people who have shady connections and the dangers of online relationships are both highlighted in Vishal’s story. It also serves as an example of the dangers of radicalisation through the internet and the need for caution when corresponding with strangers online.
The case also sheds light on the hostilities between India and Pakistan and the ongoing danger posed by espionage. The extent to which state actors may be involved in such activities is highlighted by the allegations that an ISI agent and two representatives from the Pakistan High Commission were involved in the case. Additionally, it emphasises the necessity of increased vigilance and collaboration between the two nations to deal with such threats.
If the entire situation is investigated, it will become clear how the daughter of an ISI agent in Pakistan managed to lure a man into the web of her love. The man was tasked with gathering information about Indian military installations while allegedly receiving terrorist training. The sought-after ISI agent and his daughter are still being sought after in this case.
(With the inputs from The Indian Express)
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