February 13, 2017 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Bhopal: The Madhya Pradesh police along with its “anti terror squad” (ATS) last Thursday (9th February) arrested 11 men for allegedly running an international call racket that helped Pakistan’s ISI to spy on India’s military operations.
There are reports in media that the arrested persons included a relative of a ruling BJP councillor.
In a press conference the officials claimed that they were operating parallel telephone exchanges using Chinese equipment and SIM-boxes.
All the 11 men have been booked under provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act, besides Section 122 and 123 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), which deal with collecting arms, information and other things for waging war against the State.
While interacting with the media ATS inspector general Sanjeev Shami said five men were nabbed from Gwalior, three from Bhopal, two from Jabalpur and one from Satna. He, however, refused to speak about the political (BJP) linkage of those taken into custody.
Sanjeev Shami added that the man arrested from Satna and identified as Balram is allegedly the mastermind of the racket.
“Investigations revealed that Satna (MP) resident Balram was funding the activities of the duo held in Jammu. Balram, who was in constant touch with Pak-based handlers, used multiple bank accounts to fund the anti-India operations of the duo arrested last year in Jammu,” he said.
The Congress has now alleged that Dhruv Saxena – another arrested operative – was the district coordinator of the party’s IT cell in Madhya Pradesh.
It was reported by the media that Balram and his aides operated several parallel telephone exchanges in various cities of MP, including Bhopal, Gwalior, Jabalpur and Satna. Money was allegedly transferred from Pakistan into the bank accounts of Balram via these exchanges. It was subsequently forwarded to the two ISI operatives in Jammu.
Moreover, the SIM boxes, which house SIM cards, and other equipment were being used to run the exchanges that masked the identity of callers from Pakistan and other countries.The calls by overseas handlers were converted into local calls using SIM cards obtained on fake ID proofs and also landline numbers. The calls were made via the internet and sent to SIM boxes which redirected the VoIP traffic onto mobile networks said Sanjeev Shami.
While the officially the BJP has denied having any links with the arrested operatives, senior party leaders, off the record, have expressed anguish over the ISI’s possible infiltration into its ranks.
India Today has quoted ‘a visibly disturbed senior party leader’ who ‘on the condition of anonymity’ reportedly said: “Denying association with those arrested in public is one thing but the real problem can be gauged from the fact that one of them was holding a post in the party’s IT cell and he had access to so much data and information”.