Preliminary investigation and intelligence inputs point towards a change in tactics of Pakistan’s spy agency ISI in abetting terror activities in India by keeping Pakistani nationals out of any direct involvement and instead tapping its sleeper cells to use criminal gangs and mafia in India to carry out such activities, including blasts and pumping of fake currency in India, particularly in Northern and Central parts of the country. Sources in security and police establishment say the tactic is a throwback to the early 1990s when ISI used mafia dons like Dawood Ibrahim to carry out subversive activities and terror strikes in the country.
One such indication came when the police arrested three criminals who were linked to the planting of a bomb on the rail tracks in the border district of Raxaul in Bihar on October 1. This alerted the intelligence agencies who are looking into the possibility if the train derailment in Kanpur on November 21 could have been planned, financed and executed by anti-India elements, based in Dubai, at the behest of ISI. About 150 passenger were killed in the Kanpur train derailment.
Media reports from East Champaran district of Bihar have flashed a warning signal about the network of anti-India elements, mainly criminal gangs, who were being paid by ISI to carry out disturbances, blasts and sabotage the rail tracks in India. The plan was to later blame Left Wing extremists for such activities.
“”The recovery of an improvised explosive device on on Raxaul-Sitamarhi route near Ghorasahan railway station on October 1, which disrupted train services for more than 12 hours, was funded by a Dubai-based trader from Nepal named Shamshul Hoda,”” East Champaran SP Jitendra Rana was quoted in the newspapers as saying. Ã¢ÂÂThere is a possibility that the derailment of Indore-Patna Express and the Shealdah-Ajmer Express were also carried out by these people. Efforts are on to find out more details from the ongoing interrogation,Ã¢ÂÂ he said.
Recent newspaper reports from Bihar, quoting East Champaran district police official, said that three people arrested in Nepal Ã¢ÂÂ Brijkishore Giri, Muzahid Ansari and Shambhu Ã¢ÂÂ and two other men were active in this group. Giri, the kingpin, had paid money to these people to carry out blasts on rail tracks near Ghorasahan. Umashankar Patel, Mukesh Yadav and Moti Paswan, who have been arrested, had received the money and given the bomb planting task to two other men.
Moti Paswan, a criminal who is the main accused in the Ghorasahan case, and two others who were arrested have reportedly confessed to police that they were paid a Ã¢ÂÂbig amountÃ¢ÂÂ by Hoda to carry out blasts on rail tracks in north India. Police stumbled on the racket while investigating the murder of two Raxaul residents in Nepal. The police had been able to detect and recover the powerful Improvised Explosive and avert a major accident but the two men were killed for their failure. Ã¢ÂÂThey were taken to Nepal and brutally killed in a jungle there. Investigation into these two murders unravelled the sinister network,Ã¢ÂÂ Mr. Rana said.
Intelligence agencies are also looking into the network which they believe is much larger with roots across the border. They believe that a Karachi-based mafia don, said to be working for Dawood Ibrahim, is also involved in supplying fake Indian currency notes of the denomination of Rs. 100 to the criminal gangs and smugglers in Nepal who then use the porous border along U.P. and Bihar to further give it to sleeper cells and their operatives.
Sources say that there are enough indications to believe that the ISI-backed FICN printing modules in Peshawar and Karachi are now printing Rs. 100 notes after the November 8 ban by the government on Rs. 1000 and Rs. 500 notes. In the forefront of the FICN racket is Peshwar-based trader Iqbal Kana and Dawood Ibrahim’s trusted man Aftab Batki who have been activated by the ISI.
Security agencies have also passed on the inputs to the Indian para-military forces guarding the Indo-Nepal-China border to increase surveillance. Airlines operating from Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, UAE and China are also under watch. Most fake Indian currency is printed in Pakistan from where it is taken to transit points in Nepal and Bangladesh and even Dubai which have been used by traffickers to supply it to their agents in India.
In 2010, India had joined the FATF, an inter-governmental body fighting money-laundering and terror financing. In 2014, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had ordered withdrawal of notes issued before 2005 as a first measure to tackle counterfeit currency and improve security features.”