Moga resident arrested for links with suspected ISI spy
Pathankot: A 27-year-old man has been arrested by Punjab Police for his alleged association with a suspected ISI agent, who was held from Mamoon Cantonment in Pathankot.
Charges under Official Secrets Act have been slapped against Sandeep Malhi, a resident of Talwandi Mallian village in Moga district, police said. Sandeep's name cropped up during the interrogation of Irshad who was arrested by Punjab police on the charges of spying on February 2.
Police investigation disclosed that Sandeep had allegedly been in touch with Irshad and his handler Sajjad and they even used to meet each other. Police is investigating what sort of help he was providing to Irshad. Sandeep had also stayed in Chandigarh, police said.
Sandeep has been sent to police remand till February 14 by a local court, police said. This is the third arrest made by police in this case. Earlier, a Malerkotla based mobile shop owner was arrested for allegedly selling mobile SIM card to Irshad on forged documents.
Meanwhile, a 23-year old man, who was moving around in a suspicious manner near the Air force base, was nabbed by personnel of air force authorities yesterday, police said. The man was identified as Shakir Ali, a resident of Kanpur, they said.
According police officials, nothing suspicious was found from him. "He was found to be mentally disturbed. He will be handed over to his parents," a Pathankot police official said. Irshad, a resident of Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, was working as a labourer at Mamoon Cantonment in Pathankot.
A smart phone was also recovered from his possession containing pictures of vital installations and sensitive equipment in the cantonment area. Irshad was reportedly caught making calls to Pakistan, which was traced by intelligence agencies.
He was booked under the Official Secrets Act and a case was registered at Shahpur Kandi in Pathankot. His arrest comes within a month of the terror attack at the Pathankot air base in which seven security personnel were killed along with six militants.
According to police, Irshad was being handled by a person called Sajjad, who was earlier stated to have been arrested by J&K police. Sajjad used to collect sensitive information from Irshad and then passed on to his Pakistani handlers who could be ISI.