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April 3, 2000
IAF cook admits to feeding Pak spy information
Kamla Bora in Jaipur
The Rajasthan police have busted a Pakistani spy ring and are now trying to uncover the extent to which the Inter-Services Intelligence had spread its tentacles in the border districts of the state.
The racket was busted last month with the arrest of a Pakistani spy, Muneer Ahmed, who posed as Mahendra Chaudhary and lived for several years in a colony adjacent to the Indian Air Force base in Jodhpur.
His interrogation led to the arrest of a cook working with the IAF at Jodhpur who, police sources in Jaipur said, used to supply information to the Pakistani. Both Ahmed and the cook, identified as Bhajan Das, have been brought to Jaipur for interrogation.
The police have so far found that Ahmed had rented a house in Kailashnagar in the air force area in Jodhpur by posing as Mahendra Chaudhary, befriended Das and enticed him with money, drinks and the promise of a good life to reveal information about the airbase.
Sources said the cook was formally arrested after he confessed to his involvement and to supplying the spy information about fighter planes, number of hangers and the airstrip at the base.
Police have also found that Ahmed had, during his stay at Jodhpur, not only visited Jaisalmer and Pokharan, but also Pakistan. He had also travelled extensively to various northern Indian cities.
Police are believed to have recovered copies of secret defence documents relating to the Jodhpur air base from Muneer's house yesterday. The documents reportedly include those collected by him during his Jaisalmer and Pokharan visits.
Police are now trying to locate the STD telephone booths from where the Pakistani spy used to contact his bosses back home.
Another man named Daulat Chaudhary, who had been living with Muneer Ahmed as his roommate, has also been taken into custody and is being interrogated in Jaipur.
The special branch of the criminal investigation department of the state police is looking into the racket and officers are hopeful of soon busting the extensive links Ahmed is believed to have established in India.
The police are also trying to find out how a Pakistani could change his identity to merge with the local population and use caste as the main tool for making connections. The investigation so far has revealed that Ahmed used to throw parties where alcohol flowed freely to make friends. The money for the extravaganzas came from the ISI.
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