Around 11 men suspected of having supplied information to the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in Pakistan were arrested by the Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) of Madhya Pradesh Police, who have unearthed an espionage racket.
The 11 men — five from Gwalior, three from Bhopal, two from Jabalpur and one from Satna — were arrested four days ago and are currently being interrogated by the ATS. The National Investigation Agency (NIA), along with other central agencies, has coordinated with the ATS on the case.
The ATS team arrested the suspects, accused of supplying information to the ISI about the Indian army and the air force in the state, after receiving inputs from intelligence officers from Agra in Uttar Pradesh, following which officers in Madhya Pradesh put several mobile phones on surveillance, CNN-News18 reported.
The channel quoted a police officer from Madhya Pradesh as saying that the arrested suspects were running a parallel telephone exchange. Mobile phones, sim cards, data cards and laptops have been recovered.
"Two men were arrested in Jammu in November 2016 for collecting and using information of strategic interests for espionage. They were being funded by a person in Satna... Five men from Gwalior, three from Bhopal, two from Jabalpur and one from Satna were arrested (four days ago). They converted Internet calls to cellular network and acted as medium for overseas handlers to contact people in India. Complicity of some employees of telecom companies also surfaced," Madhya Pradesh ATS Chief Sanjeev Shami told reporters.
The accused have been booked for treason and violation of the Indian Telegraph Act. The ATS will come up with a briefing on the case by afternoon.