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Mission’s ‘ISI’ men on radar

Calcutta, Nov. 29: Twenty-four hours after foreign minister Yashwant Sinha said in Parliament that the ISI was operating out of the Pakistani embassy in Dhaka, police here claimed to have got hold of detailed information on two “undercover agents operating from there’’.

They were allegedly “recruiting” people in India to gather and relay defence documents to them in Bangladesh.

Deputy inspector-general of police, Murshidabad range, D.P. Tarenia said Aamir Ali alias Badabhai and Mohammed Mamud alias Chota Bhaisaab, both Pakistanis working at the embassy office in the Gulshan area of Dhaka, were instrumental in recruiting Indian operatives and collecting defence documents.

“We have collected transcripts of conversations between Ziauddin, Ismatara (picked up recently by the Murshidabad police for being suspected ISI agents), Aamir and Mamud,’’ he said. “The conversations were coded but the discussions clearly indicated their motives. Defence and intelligence experts have decoded the transcripts and we have got a clear picture of what had transpired between them,’’ a senior officer said.

Police said Ziauddin, Ismatara and Aufun Ukil, an arrested air force data operator, kept in touch with Mamud on his cellphone. The police said they have its number with them. “It is a number of City Cell, a private cellular service provider in Bangladesh,’’ they added.

Ziauddin had confessed during sustained interrogation that he met Mamud and Aamir more than a dozen times in the past two years and passed on sensitive defence documents.

The police described Mamud as a tall, stout, moustachioed man in his mid-forties. They said he stays with his family in a four-room apartment at Bonani, an upscale locality in New Town, Dhaka, about 3 km from the Pakistan embassy.

Aamir, the police claimed, is clean-shaven, tall and well built. He stays in the same locality as Mamud but in a smaller flat. The police said his family is in Lahore. Mamud had been to Ziauddin’s house in Jalangi twice, in March and May this year, police said. When in Dhaka, Ziauddin and Ismatara stayed with them.

According to the police, Aamir and Mamud helped Ziauddin get admitted to Dhaka University for a bachelor’s degree. “We have seized the University certificate,’’ Tarenia said.

Ziauddin told the police that Aamir and Mamud paid him Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 for every document that he passed on.

Ukil was produced before the sub-divisional judicial magistrate today, reports our Murshidabad correspondent. He was remanded in custody till December 12. Ukil was arrested in Pune on November 21 and was brought here last Sunday for interrogation.

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