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Suspected ISI agent in police remand

A Correspondent
Agartala, July 5, 2010: A court on Monday sent a Pakistani national and his six local collaborators arrested in Tripura to police remand for ten days. The arrest of the Pakistani identified as Munim Khan alias Ashraf and resident of Bhawalpur district of Pakistan's Punjab province, raised an alarm in security circles with a few Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials reaching from New Delhi to join the interrogation team.

There have been contradictory reports over circumstance leading to their arrests. One report said the entire group was arrested by police and intelligence sleuths when they intercepted a Tata Indica vehicle at Battali of Sonamura, 45km south of Agartala, on wee hours of Sunday. Sonamura is known for relentless smuggling, infiltration and various criminal activities involving Bangladesh.

“Four youths and the driver of their vehicle captured in Sonamura and based on their confession Munim Khan was picked up from Subhasnagar locality in downtown Agartala”, an officer of Tripura police special branch (SB) said requesting his name be withheld. He added Khan was then taken to Sagar Mahal a tourist resort in Sonamura where other detainees were kept.

Besides the Pakistani national, Ramu Ghosh, Rana Roy, Sudip Saha, Gauranga Dey, Uttam Burman and Tajul Islam were shown arrested under sections of 120B, 120A, 419 and 212 of IPC. Section 14 of the Foreigners Act and section 3 of the Passport Act also labeled against them.

Tajul is a resident of N.C. Nagar a village on Sonamura's porous border while rest of the youths hails from Agartala city neighborhoods. Sub Inspector Jahangir Hussain, Investigation Officer in the case, said Munim Khan has confessed to his link with the ISI of Pakistan. He refused to give further details.

A mobile phone recovered from Khan and the calls made to Pakistan from this phone are being verified by the experts in the IB. However, no incriminating document and article found in his possession.

Significant part of the entire gamut is the youths went Bangladesh with valid passport, but returned illegally with Tajul. Tajul reportedly introduced Munim Khan to the youths and they helped him to visit Guwahati earlier, sources said.

A police officer said the detainees after Chief Judicial Magistrate Tridip Chandra Roy permitted remand taken to the SB cell where they would be interrogated by the SB and police officers. RAW, IB, SIB and intelligence wing of the Border Security Force have made requests to police to facilitate their officers to interrogate the suspects