Monday Jan 20, 2020
Indian authorities have arrested a young Muslim man from Varanasi for being an alleged spy of Pakistani intelligence agencies, Indian media reported on Sunday.
According to the reports, the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) arrested the Muslim man for allegedly passing on information to his "handlers" in Pakistan since March 2019.
Other media outlets reported that Indian intelligence agencies had received information that a young man was passing on “critical information” to Pakistani intelligence agencies over Whatsapp.
The 23-year-old was allegedly apprehended after being put under surveillance for several months.
Rashid was reportedly questioned on January 16 and arrested on January 19 following the examination of his mobile phone.
Indian media claimed that Rashid had visited Pakistan twice and was 'recruited' on his second visit in 2018-19. He was purportedly tasked with “providing Indian phone numbers for their use on WhatsApp as well as photos, videos and information on the movement and deployment of army units”.
In return, Indian media claimed, he was assured of monetary benefits and help in arranging his marriage.
The Muslim man agent has been booked under Section 123 (concealing with intent to facilitate design to wage war) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and will be presented before a court.
It is the second time in two months that the Indian authorities have arrested their own citizens, mostly Muslims, on the false allegations of helping Pakistan.
In December 2019, New Delhi claimed to have busted an 'espionage racket' involving eleven Indian navy personnel who were allegedly passing “sensitive information like locations of naval ships and submarines to a Pakistani handler”.
On December 27, after the arrests, the Indian Navy had banned the use of smartphones, social media and Facebook by its officials while on ships, bases and naval defence facilities.