New Delhi: The personal assistant of Samajwadi Party lawmaker has been arrested in connection with the espionage racket in which a Pakistan High Commission staffer was detained and expelled from the country and three others were arrested earlier this week.
Farhat is suspected to have leaked sensitive information to Pakistan High Commission staffer Mahmood Akhtar. He has been sent to police custody for ten days by a Delhi court.
Farhat's name appeared in the interrogation video of Mahmood Akhtar as one of the key people he met in Delhi to access information allegedly for the ISI.
Farhat, the personal assistant of Samajwadi Party's Rajya Sabha MP Munawwar Saleem, was detained on Friday night, said a senior Crime Branch officer. He was arrested this afternoon after interrogation.
MP Saleem, who was nominated to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh in 2012 by Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, said, "This person was working with me for the last one year.... When I took him in, a full police verification was done. I am at loss for words."
The Delhi Police is also trying to arrest other members, who it believes, were involved in the espionage.
On Wednesday, Pakistan High Commission staffer Mahmood Akhtar, 35, was caught by the police at the Delhi zoo, while he was receiving sensitive intel and documents from two men from Rajasthan , Maulana Ramzan and Subhash Jangir. He was expelled by India for espionage and was ordered to leave within 48 hours.
The two men were arrested but Akhtar was let off because of diplomatic immunity. Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar summoned Pakistan's High Commissioner Abdul Basit on Thursday and said Akhtar is persona non grata and he and his family must leave by Saturday.
Akhtar was recruited by Pakistani Inter-Services intelligence or ISI three years ago and later posted in the High Commission in Delhi, the police said. He worked in the Visa section, allegedly so he could recruit potential spies.
Another accused Sohaib was detained in Jodhpur and brought to Delhi by the police where he was arrested.