The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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ISI ‘pay dirt’ claim after year’s digging

Behrampore, Nov. 18: Four suspected ISI agents were picked up by the Intelligence Branch and the district police as a dragnet spread over a year closed in on them on Tuesday night, prompting the police to claim that those arrested gave startling details about their contacts in the military establishment.

Three “agents” of the Pakistani intelligence agency were arrested from Durlabherpara village in the Jalangi police station area while the other was picked up from Kunchiamora in Domkal.

Several documents were seized from the “spies” who confessed to having ISI links during interrogation. Fax and telephone numbers of ISI agents stationed in Dhaka were recovered, the police said. Maps of the Pune and Balia (in Gujarat’s Bhuj district) airbases and detailed information about key army personnel, ammunition depots, weapons, troop movements and pipelines were also seized, they added.

Inspector-general of police, law and order, Chayan Mukherjee said at Writers’ Buildings officials from the Central intelligence agency have arrived to interrogate those arrested.

Murshidabad superintendent of police Birendra said the sleuths had set up a trap in the area for about a year. Last night, they were finally able to arrest Ziauddin Biswas, 50, his wife Ismatara Biswas, 35, and brother-in-law Hasan Habib, 35. Ismatara’s cousin, Ghulam Murtaza, was arrested from his father-in-law’s residence at Kunchiamora.

Murtaza, who used to pass on information through his telephone booth, stays at Bilashpur village in Domkal. Incidentally, animal resources development minister Anisur Rahaman comes from the same village.

“The ISI recruits agents from its office at the well-known Banani area of Dhaka. These agents subsequently access classified data through informers within the Indian armed forces. The network in the region has been in operation for some time now,” said the police superintendent.

“Ghulam Murtaza took me to Dhaka where I was recruited by the ISI in 1997. With time, I became an important agent and maintained direct links with a key agent, Amir, who stays at Banani,” said Ziauddin, in lucid English.

“Amir replaced Mehmud about a year ago. Another senior agent, Barabhai, used to issue instructions at meetings and then left for unknown destinations. I never managed to learn about his whereabouts or his real name,” he told the police.

Ziauddin had recruited Arpan Ukil of the Indian Air Force and Lance Naik M.K. Asan Ali Biswas of the Signals Regiment. They used to send sensitive military information to Dhaka.

“Army informers used to receive Rs 50,000 per piece of information while we got Rs 25,000-Rs 35,000. Asan Ali committed suicide a couple of months ago while still in service but his last rites were performed in full state honours because it was officially made known that he was killed in a mine blast. Both Ukil and Biswas visited Dhaka twice without passport,” claimed Ziauddin.

Asan Ali killed himself when he was caught red-handed while passing on military information, said Ajay Thakur, the subdivisonal police officer of Domkal.

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