Maulana Ramzan Khan was a teacher at a mosque in Nagaur, Rajasthan. He would teach 40 children at the mosque and was being paid Rs 2,000. He was paid an additional Rs 3,000 for looking after the Mosque. He lived close to the border and was very familiar with the topography.
Mehmood Akthar, the staffer in the Pakistan mission at New Delhi kept a close watch on him. He scanned his activities and while doing so found that Khan was visited by several retired officials of the army.
A year ago, Akthar paid Khan a visit and made him an offer. "Rs 50,000 will be paid to you if you get me information on Defence," Akthar said. Khan bit the bait.
On Thursday, the Delhi police detained Akthar on spying charges. As he enjoyed diplomatic immunity, he was released and later asked to leave India for Pakistan, along with his family.
Selling India's secrets for Rs 50,000:
Ramzan Khan was the perfect catch for Akthar. Khan had a clean image in public and he would not have been suspected by anyone at all. The investigators, however, did not spell out clearly how he managed to get hold of heaps of Defence documents. The role of an insider in the defence system is something that is not being ruled out.
After Khan bit the bait, he needed a partner. The target was a failing businessman called Subhash Jahangir. He was struggling to make ends meet. Khan called on Jahangir and spoke to him about this operation. He assured Jahangir that he could clear off his debts very easily, only if he gathered information about Defence and passed it on. Jahangir too fell prey for this offer.
With the first rung of the spying network now busted, the police are now trying to ascertain the role of insiders. Scanning of bank accounts will be the key for investigations now. Whether money was passed on to some insiders in the BSF or not is what the next round of probe will focus on.