A labourer, a couple of passport agents, a college student and a bartender were among several people arrested in West Bengal in 2015 for alleged links with ISI, putting the state under the scanner of security agencies as a “secure hideout” for agents of the Pakistani agency.
Fake passports, fake voter identity cards, Aadhar cards, ration cards procured from agents allegedly employed by the ISI helped these intruders getting into the country and settling here, Kolkata Police officials told PTI.
The state’s porous international borders with Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan helped the agents to infiltrate into the country through the West Bengal, they said.
“While probing the Khagragarh blast (in Burdwan), several documents and clues indicated that those involved in the incident came from across the border of Bangladesh and they got support from locals.
“Though investigation is still on, we suspect that either they were local (agents) or the people who have settled here within a decade’s time,” a senior CID officer told PTI.
The arrest of a bartender in early November from central part of the city revealed that a network of ISI agents were working in the state, he said.
“We have information that there are specific roles given to each of these agents by the ISI. Some are here to recruit agents, some others are for collecting information from areas where either the Navy, Army or the Air Force have their base.
“Apart from them, there are those who are here to bring in high quality fake Indian currency notes in the country and spread them here aiming to devastate the economy,” a top IPS officer of Kolkata Police said.
Banned organisations like the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) has spread its network in Howrah, and both North and South 24-Parganas districts, he added.
“They have set up organisational bases in districts like Murshidabad, Nadia, Burdwan and Birbhum and we are probing whether they have spread into other states like Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya etc,” the officer said.