New Delhi: An aide of Samajwadi Party MP Munawwar Saleem on Saturday sent to 10-day police custody by a Delhi court following startling discloser about his involvement in an espionage racket.
Farhat Khan, a personal assistant of the SP leader, was arrested by the crime branch of Delhi Police on Friday night. He was appointed by the MP about a year ago.
Duty Magistrate Arun Kumar Garg sanctioned his custodial interrogation till November 8.
The investigating officer told reporters that Khan has to be confronted with other arrested men to unearth the larger conspiracy and nab others.
The officer said that preliminary questioning has led to certain revelations that need to be further investigated as other names have cropped up.
During the proceedings today, police alleged that more persons are likely to be apprehended and more documents and other evidence to be recovered with the help of the accused.
It has emerged that the accused was in direct touch with the Pakistani High Commission staffer who was recently expelled from the country. The two used "code words" during conversations.
Police also said that Khan was in regular touch with Pakistani intelligence operatives for the last 18 years and was leaking sensitive documents and information.
"Farhat Khan was in touch with Pakistani intelligence operatives for the last 18 years. He used to be paid Rs 20,000 for the information and documents he shared with them," said a senior police officer.
Pakistani visa officer Mehmood Akhtar was expelled from the country on charges of running a spy network following his brief detention on Wednesday. He was released due to diplomatic immunity.
Police said Akhtar had his bases covered and was gaining information about the government as well as security deployment in border areas.
Akhtar had named Farhat as one of his "close associates", following which the latter was picked up from Saleem's residence last night and detained.
He was arrested this afternoon after prolonged questioning. This is the fourth arrest in the case.
TV channels also aired a confessional video of Mehmood Akhtar in which he purportedly named Farhat besides others including Syed Farruq, Khadim Hussain, Shahid Iqbal and Iqbal Cheema, claiming that they were also "staffers".
Meanwhile, the SP leader has promised all support to the police in the probe.
Currently, Delhi Police is trying to nab other members of the racket who were in close contact with Pakistani staffer. Akhtar was caught receiving secret documents here on Oct 26.
Two other accused, Maulana Ramzan and Subhash Jangir, both residents of Nagaur in Rajasthan, were also held along with Akhtar. Another accused Sohaib was detained in Jodhpur and brought to Delhi by the police where he was formally arrested.
(With agency inputs)