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Fears over 'double agents' in Rajasthan's border districts

Fears over 'double agents' in Rajasthan's border districts

Author: Statesman News Service
Publication: The Statesman
Date: December 2, 2001

The double agents in the bordering districts of Rajasthan, who are on the 'pay rolls' of both the Indian intelligence agencies as well as Pakistan's ISI, are becoming a menace for Central intelligence agencies and local police alike.

State and Central agencies have already listed about three dozen such 'double agents'. They try to give the impression to both the opposing agencies that they are working for them exclusively. "We are keeping surveillance on their activities, but cannot swoop on them till we have proofs against them", said a senior Central intelligence officer requesting anonymity.

"We have asked all our officers posted in the bordering districts to maintain surveillance on suspected double agents and keep a tab on all the 'rags-to riches' cases that have suddenly mushroomed in these border districts", said the additional director general, Rajasthan police, intelligence branch, Mr Arun Duggar. But such investigations take a long time, sometimes months before the police get some proof against them, said Mr Duggar.

Recently, Rajasthan police arrested two brothers, working for Indian and Pakistan intelligence agencies for over a decade. They could be arrested only after a month and a half's surveillance, the ADG explained. Such people are becoming a menace for us and are likely to create law and order problems in border districts, he added.

To keep check on espionage activities, the state administration has also unofficially requested STD and PCO booth owners to keep a check on phone calls made to Pakistan and inform the local police about anything worth suspicion. What's more alarming is the fact that in recent past there are many 'rags-to-riches' stories of people who managed 'favours' from intelligence agencies in the name of spying. Since, all these 'favours' are unofficial and is kept secret by all intelligence agencies, there's little the local police can do, remarked a senior officer of a border district of Rajasthan.

"The intelligence agencies help them to cross the border with a hope that they would fetch some good news from the other side, little knowing that the persons we are helping cross the border are selling our information to ISI, purchasing contrabands and coming back to India with information 'of hardly any use', he disclosed, revealing the modus operandi of the double agents. "And we can't rule out involvement of our security agencies into it", he added.

The recent arrest of the two brothers and double agents for over a decade, Ramjan and Noor Mohammad, is the best example. "They were taking favours both from the Indian intelligence agencies as well as from ISI and were running their business as well", the officer pointed out. While Ramjan worked for the Indian military intelligence, Noor was a BSF informer. Both used to collect information from the Indian side, pass them on to the ISI and vice -versa. Till a decade ago, they were living in a kuchcha hut, but today they are at least millionaires if not 'crorepatis' - a story that raised many eyebrows till they were finally nabbed by the state police.

"We can't rule out the theory that army officers were among those who used to shelter and give them information. Our investigations is still on and we can't comment much on it", revealed a senior state police officer investigating the 'double-agents' case.

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