New Delhi, Dec 8: The busting of the ISI's spy ring is probably one of the biggest operations that the Intelligence Bureau has carried out in recent times.
While the spying problem has always been there and will continue to persist, the busting of this ring was a major operation as it had its tentacles across the country.
The police of various states have been arresting persons alleged to be involved in this racket and as they piece together evidence, there is every likelihood that the probe will spread and more persons will be taken into custody.
An intelligence bureau official part of this operation tells OneIndia that the first bit of chatter was picked up around six months back. Most of the communication was through messenger services and these persons sent out very cryptic messages which raised doubts in the first place.
On the radar
When the IB began trailing these persons from Kashmir, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh, the information was kept a secret. It was only later that the police was roped in to carry out the arrests and subsequent investigation. The IB has to rope in the police force if arrests are to be effected as per the rules.
Over the past six months there had been a lot of chatter that the IB had picked up. Many cryptic messages were being sent out time and again to numbers in Pakistan. The information would first be picked up from a personnel in the army and then shared to a contact in Pakistan.
It was clear that Pakistan was attempting a major force build up along the borders and hence information on India's troop movement was extremely important to them.
Almost nine of the ten messages that were sent to Pakistan was relating to movement of troops in India. This would help Pakistan position their forces better and be prepared in advance in case of a strike back.
The spy ring comprised of persons from different walks of life. A library assistant, a retired havaldar, a serving havaldar and a school teacher.
While those part of the army would feed information, the rest would pass it on their handlers in Pakistan.
The handlers ensured that they appointed persons having very un-assuming profiles such as teachers and librarians to get the job done. However after six months of tracking 24/7, the IB informed the Delhi police which effected the first arrest and this led to an major ring being busted.