Close aide of SP leader arrested in espionage case

Pakistan espionage racket Delhi police arrest aide of SP leader

MP Saleem, who was nominated to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh in 2012 by Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, said, "This person was working with me for the last one year".

Farhat, was detained last night by Crime Branch, Delhi Police where he is now being interrogated.

Pakistan has denied the espionage charges levelled against Akhtar as "false and unsubstantiated", and alleged that Indian police "manhandled" him.

It emerged during questioning that police had actually nabbed a Pakistan High Commission official, who identified himself as Mehmood Akhtar.

The sources further reveal that Farhat used to steal documents related to Parliament and sell it to the Pak ISI. Earlier on Wednesday, two residents of Nagaur, Rajasthan, were held along with the Pakistan High Commission staffer. Another ring member, Shoaib, was arrested Friday after he was brought to New Delhi from Jodhpur.

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Farhat allegedly came in contact with the ISI in 1998, through a Pakistan high commission official who was given the code name "NK". In an official statement released by the Foreign Office it was said, "The Foreign Secretary expressed deep concern over the activities of the Indian official that were in violation of the Vienna Convention and the established diplomatic norms".

On Saturday, the MP sacked Farhat and said he regretted employing him. He also disclosed the names of other informants and also that of the ISRO official. Reports said that Farhat had provided Ministry of External Affairs documents to the Pakistani spy. TV channels also aired a confessional video of Akhtar in which he purportedly named Khan and others. He worked in the Visa section, allegedly so he could recruit potential spies.

In exchange for information, if sources are to be believed they paid up to Rs 50,000.

Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit strongly protested with Indian Foreign Secretary at the detention and manhandling of Pakistan High Commission staff, a spokesperson of the Pakistan High commission in Delhi said at the time.