The Sunday Guardian

KAIRANA ON IB RADAR FOR ISI LINKS

Iqbal Kana, who is at present op­er­at­ing from Pak­istan, is this small town’s most no­to­ri­ous name.

- AB­HI­NAN­DAN MISHRA NEW DELHI Crime · India News · Uttar Pradesh · Pakistan · India · Lahore · Nepal · Bangladesh · West Bengal · Kairana · Inter-Services Intelligence · Shamli · Intelligence Bureau · Gwalior · Indian Mujahideen · Punjab · Abu Dhabi Indian School · Bengal

Kairana i n Ut­tar Pradesh’s Shamli dis­trict has been on the radar of the In­tel­li­gence Bureau (IB) for a long time for the al­leged as­so­ci­a­tion of some of its res­i­dents with the Pak­istan in­tel­li­gence agency ISI and through them with the ter­ror out­fit Lashkar-eTayyaba (LeT), IB of­fi­cials told this news­pa­per. Kairana is in the news over the al­leged “ex­o­dus” of the Hindu popu- la­tion from the town for fear of anti so­cial el­e­ments.

As per in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials, they have al­ways been track­ing Kairana as many of the ter­ror mod­ules that have been busted in re­cent time had links to res­i­dents there. “For four suc­ces­sive years—2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013—we busted ter­ror mod­ules that had links with Kairana. These mod­ules were not just re­lated to fake In­dian cur­rency notes (FICNs) but the peo­ple who were ar­rested were car­ry­ing out es­pi­onage ac­tiv­i­ties for the ISI, apart from procur­ing and man­ag­ing arms for ter­ror groups ow­ing al­le­giance to the ISI,” a se­nior in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cial said.

Fifty- six-year- old Iqbal Kana, a pro­claimed of­fender who is now op­er­at­ing from Pak­istan, is Kairana’s most no­to­ri­ous name, said an IB of­fi­cer. Kana, who is the ISI’s point man for flood­ing In­dia with FICNs, fled to La­hore in the early 1990s and works there as a gar­ment trader at present. “The ISI has made sure that he looks like a small-time trader to the pub­lic, but in re­al­ity Kana is pump­ing FICN into In­dia. The in­ter­ro­ga­tion of mul­ti­ple LeT and In­dian Mu­jahideen op­er­a­tives has con­firmed that Kana is still run­ning the show and is in reg­u­lar touch with his con­tacts in Kairana and the neigh­bour­ing ar­eas,” a se­cu­rity agency of­fi­cial said.

Af­ter flee­ing the coun­try, Kana planted his con­tacts in Pun­jab, in ar­eas near the In­dia- Nepal bor­der and along the In­dia-Bangladesh bor­der so that he could send FICN into In­dia. “All these re­sources were cul­ti­vated by Kana through his old as­so­ciates in Kairana. In Jan­uary 2012, Kana tried to send Rs 2.2 crore worth of FICN but his par­cel was in­ter­cepted by us. Next year, in 2013, he sent an­other con­sign­ment of Rs 25 lakh, but we in­ter­cepted that as well. I am sure we missed many other con­sign­ments,” said an of­fi­cial who was in­volved in these op­er­a­tions.

In­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials said that be­cause of high lev­els of un­em­ploy­ment, gullible youths from the mi­nor­ity com­mu­nity fall for the easy money that is promised by Kana, whose hench­men are very much ac­tive in Kairana.

“Kairana has around 100 of­fi­cial his­tory-sheeters, all of whom have di­rect or in­di­rect links with Kana. Be­ing a part of this il­le­gal racket gives them a sense of power and iden­tity and they, then, try to ex­tort money from gen­eral traders and busi­ness­men, ir­re­spec­tive of their re­li­gion,” the of­fi­cial said. Ac­cord­ing to the 2011 Cen­sus, 80.74% peo­ple of Kairana are Mus­lims, while 18.34% are Hin­dus.

Kana, who is also known by the name Adis Iqbal alias Ma­lik Bhai, owns two shops: one at Shal­i­mar Gate in La­hore and an­other at Azam cloth mar­ket in La­hore. Once the FICNs are printed, Kana makes sure that these reach his peo­ple in Nepal and Bangladesh, who then de­liver them to his as­so­ciates in In­dia in West Ben­gal and Ut­tar Pradesh.

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