The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Love for letters led air force man to ‘spy net’

Behrampore, Dec. 12: A penchant for pen-pals and a voracious urge to write letters pushed arrested air force data operator Aufan Ukil to familiarity with suspected ISI agents Ziauddin Biswas and Rinku Ahmed, also cooling their heels in a jail here awaiting trial.

Ukil was today produced before the sub-divisional judicial magistrate who remanded him in custody till December 26. He was arrested from the air force base at Pune last month and brought here for questioning on November 30.

Clad in a red full-sleeved shirt and khaki denim pants, the 29-year-old fair and podgy-faced Ukil spoke exclusively to The Telegraph while awaiting the magistrate’s verdict.

“Having pen pals is my hobby and I have over a hundred of them. I have a budget of Rs 500 a month for sending letters and it was while doing so that I became friends with Rinku of Jalangi,” Ukil said.

Denying any links with the ISI, Ukil said though he had a pen-friendship with Rinku, he had never met Ziauddin.

“Rinku once wrote saying Ziauddin had a pretty sister-in-law and proposed that I marry her. Let alone the police claim that I had been to Dhaka, I had never even been to Rinku’s village in Jalangi,” he said.

Even while Ukil kept insisting that he had no links with the ISI, the police had a different story to tell.

According to a senior intelligence official, Ukil admitted during interrogation that he had been to Dhaka on four occasions to meet “ISI agent” Aamir. “He has confessed that he had been paid Rs 40,000 for supplying sensitive information, including maps of airfields and troop movement,” the officer said.

Ukil was detained following the November 17 arrests of Ziauddin, his wife Ismatara and two others from a village in Jalangi. Days later, Rinku was picked up from the same village.

Ukil’s name first came up during the interrogations of the four alleged ISI agents. The district police immediately alerted the air force.

Ukil comes from a village in the Kaligunj police station area of Nadia. “I’ve had pen-pals since I was in school. The numbers increased after I joined the air force,” he said.

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