Did Pak man cook up ISI spy story?

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Appu Esthose Suresh

Ahmed is ba­si­cally a bookie. He was a cloth trader till 2015, and is only a 10th pass. He is un­der med­i­ca­tion for neu­ro­log­i­cal prob­lems.

Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials said on Sat­ur­day they are al­most cer­tain that a man who turned up at the Delhi air­port a day ear­lier and iden­ti­fied him­self as a hit man of Pak­istan’s ISI is not a spy but had cooked up the story to gain asy­lum in India.

Ahmed Mo­hammed, 38, ar­rived on a Dubai-kathmandu Air India flight with a stopover at the Indira Gandhi In­ter­na­tional Air­port on Fri­day morn­ing be­fore he ap­proached a mon­ey­changer and queried how to get an In­dian visa. Later, he told the FRRO staff at the air­port that he was an ISI spy and wanted to give up spy­ing and stay in India.

Mo­hammed was ques­tioned by of­fi­cials of India’s do­mes­tic and ex­ter­nal spy agen­cies, and a de­ci­sion will be made on Mon­day on whether to de­port him to Dubai or in­form the Pak­istan high com­mis­sion to give him con­sular ac­cess.

In­dian of­fi­cials tapped into sources in Dubai and other friendly in­tel­li­gence agen­cies to ver­ify Mo­hammed’s iden­tity and claims. “He is ba­si­cally a bookie. He was a cloth trader till 2015, and is only a 10th pass,” a source at the In­tel­li­gence Bureau (IB), the do­mes­tic spy agency, told HT on the con­di­tion of anonymity speak on jour­nal­ists.

“He is un­der med­i­ca­tion for neu­ro­log­i­cal prob­lems fol­low­ing an ac­ci­dent seven months ago. He talks of il­lu­sions and does not seem to be an agent in any way.”

Mo­hammed car­ried a Pak­istani pass­port — KF 088779 — which showed his date of birth as July 9, 1978 and his res­i­dence in Gul­shan Colony of Faisal­abad, the third-most pop­u­lous city in Pak­istan. This is the first time some­one has made such a claim, in such a man­ner, leav­ing In­dian se­cu­rity of­fi­cials in a pro­ce­dural quandary. There have been in­stances of al­leged spies ap­proach­ing In­dian mis­sions abroad. Mo­hammed is in the cus­tody of the IB’S counter-es­pi­onage group. Usu­ally, the IB passes along in­tel­li­gence in­puts to po­lice, who ap­pre­hend sus­pects. But Mo­hammed has not vi­o­lated any In­dian law. He has a valid tran­sit visa and was ap­pre­hended within im­mi­gra­tion gate

Amid ris­ing in­ci­dents of cow vig­i­lan­tism, a driver of a pick-van is sus­pected to have been blinded in his left eye after he was at­tacked for al­legedly scar­ing a bovine by honk­ing horn in north Bi­har’s Saharsa dis­trict.

The in­ci­dent took place at Maina vil­lage un­der Son­barsa Raj po­lice sta­tion area, 250 km from Patna, on Thurs­day.

Po­lice said driver Ganesh Man­dal, 30, was re­turn­ing home at Bochahi vil­lage in Bha­galpur from Saharsa when he came across a cow roam­ing on NH-107. “Man­dal honked the horn so that the cow could get out of his way. In­stead, the bovine pan­icked and ran away. This made the owner of the cow, who was nearby, fu­ri­ous and he rained ba­ton blows on Man­dal,” the po­lice said.

The cow owner had been iden­ti­fied as Ram Du­lar Ya­dav, they added.

Man­dal fell un­con­scious when he was hit on his left eye, the po­lice said, adding that he was rushed to the nearby pri­mary health cen­tre (PHC). When Man­dal, after re­gain­ing con­scious­ness, com­plained that he was un­able to see out of his left eye, the doc­tor at the PHC re­ferred him to the gov­ern­ment hos­pi­tal at Saharsa. The pa­tient was bleed­ing pro­fusely from his left eye and the pos­si­bil­ity of his los­ing vi­sion could not be ruled out the PHC

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