Lucknow: Investigators on Wednesday arrested a man from Uttarakhand's Pithoragarh district on suspicion that he had bugged an Indian diplomat's house in Pakistan and provided intel to the country's spy agency ISI while working as a domestic help till last year.
- Ramesh Singh worked between 2015-17 at house of Indian Embassy officer
- Gave details to ISI, bugged phone and laptop, say police
- Has said he did it to repay debt, was paid in dollars by ISI: Police
Ramesh Singh was a cook at the residence of a senior officer with the Indian Embassy in Pakistan and exchanged crucial information with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence or ISI for money, the police said. He worked at the diplomat's house between 2015 and 2017.
"The house of the officer was bugged. The officer's devices (laptop and phone) were also bugged. It seems the ISI used temporary employees at the embassy involved in cleaning operations to get in touch with Ramesh," Anand Kumar, a senior police officer, said at a briefing in Lucknow on Thursday.
He used to go through the laptop, other electronic devices, diaries and files to pass on information to ISI agents, the police said.
"During his interrogation, we have learnt that ISI also tried to get information from Ramesh about military installations in UP," Mr Kumar added.
According to the police, Ramesh claimed he had agreed to work for the ISI to repay his debts and was paid in dollars. "We have found that Ramesh was under debt from banks and from money lenders. Ramesh says he was paid 1,300 dollars. He was in debt of about 8 to 9 lakh rupees. And he has paid back most of this money. So it seems he got more money too," Mr Kumar said.
Ramesh had got the job at the diplomat's house in Pakistan through his brother who is in the Indian Army. "It seems the brother knew this officer and he requested that Ramesh be employed as a cook," the police officer said.
The police have denied there is any evidence that any officer in the embassy was involved.
Ramesh was arrested in a joint operation by the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terror Squad, the Uttarakhand Police and the Directorate of Military Intelligence. A phone has been recovered from him, the police said. The capture of a suspected terrorist from Uttar Pradesh's Faizabad earlier this month led to his arrest.