Delhi Crime Branch Likely To Meet ISRO Officials Over Espionage Row


New Delhi: The Delhi Police’s Crime Branch is likely to meet officials of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to establish the alleged role of one of their officials in connection with the espionage ring busted recently.

The ISRO official’s name was disclosed by Mehmood Akhtar, the Pakistan High Commission staffer who was declared “persona non grata” last Thursday after Delhi Police busted an “espionage ring”, allegedly run by him, following a six-month investigation.

Police believe the staffer was leaking sensitive information on the Indian armed forces in border states to the Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

As of now, investigators are focusing on the arrested persons and those from whom they allegedly procured classified defence documents, said sources. “In the coming days, a team will be sent to ISRO to meet with the official concerned,” said a source.

Akhtar has claimed in a video-recorded interrogation that he sourced “sensitive” information from an official attached with the ISRO.

Meanwhile, Delhi Police have launched a hunt to nab a retired official from the Border Security Force (BSF), who was allegedly working in tandem with Akhtar. A team has also been sent to several places, including border areas, where he could be hiding.

The retired official is believed to have been in touch with Soheb, who is already in the custody of the Delhi Police Crime Branch. The official once contacted Soheb to get a visa for his relative, who wanted to go to Pakistan, said police sources. Soheb had then taken him to Delhi and fixed his meeting with Akhtar, they said.

Akhtar and the retired official were directly in touch and talked on several occasions, said police, adding that Akhtar had asked him to use his contacts for luring serving officials to work for him.

While one team has been sent to Rajasthan, another team has been deputed to Mewat to track the movements of more suspects in the case, said police.

The names of more retired and serving officials may come up during further investigations, said sources.

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