Passport agent arrested for links with ISI

The Special Task Force of the Kolkata Police on Wednesday arrested a passport agent here for his alleged links with Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence, just three days after it busted a module of the Pakistani spy agency in the city.

Kolkata: The Special Task Force of the Kolkata Police on Wednesday arrested a passport agent here for his alleged links with Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence, just three days after it busted a module of the Pakistani spy agency in the city.

It was Sheikh Badal, the 59-year-old passport agent held today, who had helped arrested suspected ISI-spy Mohammad Ejaz alias Mohammad Kalam in Uttar Pradesh in managing a fake voter identity card, a senior officer of the STF said today.

Badal's name surfaced during the grilling sessions of Mohammed Jahangir, arrested last Sunday along with Irshad Ansari, his son Asfaq Ansari, he said.

"Badal and Jahangir have been friends for quite a long time. Jahangir was into tailoring before he started working as agent at the Regional Passport Officer here and it was there he met Badal... The two became close friends," the IPS officer said.

Badal, a resident of the Karaya area in south-east part of the city, according to the officer, has a complicated family history.

"It's only a few hours that we have arrested him. But going by the preliminary questioning we have found that Badal was born in India, but moved to Bangladesh where he got married and had a son who died in a political violence when he was 15 years old. After that Badal returned to India and again got married to a local lady," the officer said.

But he has been a frequent visitor to Dhaka, the purpose was still unknown, he said adding that several "incriminating documents" were seized from him.

Badal was arrested from in front of the Regional Passport office on Brabourne Road in the central business district of the city at around 2.30 PM today.

He has been booked under the Indian Penal Code sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 121 (waging or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against the Government of India), 121A (conspiracy to commit offences punishable by section 121), 489B (using as genuine forged or counterfeit currency notes or bank notes) and 489C (possession of forged or counterfeit currency-notes or bank-notes).

Meanwhile, intense grilling of Akhtar Khan and Jaffar

Khan, the brother duo arrested for their alleged links with the ISI, revealed that both had been travelling to Pakistan as well as Bangladesh on fake documents including passports, the STF officer said.

"Jaffar had applied for passport in 1989 but his application was cancelled, but he went to Pakistan in 1990. He again applied for the same in 2012 and did not mention that his application was cancelled earlier because of which he was fined by the passport authorities," the officer said.

In fact, Akhtar too applied for a passport claiming that his earlier passport was misplaced.

"But the passport number he provided with his application belonged to someone else as per the records of the passport office... So there are lots of complications behind their activities. We are probing everything," the IPS officer said.

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