Hyderabad High Court upholds life term awarded to Pakistan spy, Ashique Ali

According to a report, Hyderabad High Court has upheld the life sentence awarded by Nizamabad Trial Court in 2005 to Pakistani spy Ashique Ali alias Shahneel for allegedly transferring strategic defence information of India to Pakistani Army through mobile and emails.

Ali, a Pakistani national was arrested by the Nizamabad police on January 26, 2002, from the Jannapally Junction. It was alleged that he had conspired with Major Chaudry Zahid Ahmed, Hawaldar Mahemood and Hawaldar Tahir, all Pakistan nationals, with an intention to collect sensitive and strategic defence information related to Indian Armed Forces.

Ashique was sent to India on June 15, 2001, with a passport bearing No J-970511 and visa No P210841 under the charade of a tourist for 30-60 days to visit Delhi and Kanpur.

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After entering Delhi via Samjhauta Express, Ashique destroyed his passport. In violation of rules, he visited Batala, Amritsar and Qadian in Punjab; Hyderabad and Nizamabad in then AP; and Mumbai and Nagpur in Maharashtra. This time, he was mailing sensitive information to Pakistan. Ashique overstayed in Hyderabad to collect Defence information and thereby violated provisions of sections 3 and 14 of the Foreigners Act. Finally, he was caught at a telephone booth while talking with Pakistani masters on the night of January 26, 2002, near Jannapally junction, Nizamabad.

The defence argued he lost his documents and could not go back. But to this, the Bench said, he ought to have informed this to police or concerned authorities to make arrangements for his migration. In absence of such attempts, his argument could not be accepted. The bench said the accused was liable under Section 14 of the Foreigners Act.

The police booked him under Section 121 and Section 121-A of the IPC and Section 14 of the Foreigners’ Act and also under Officials Secrets’ Act.

During the trial, the accused confessed that he communicated in cryptic language using ‘uncle’ as code for 54 division; ‘sons’ as units; ‘house nos.’  as a number of units;  ‘ name of colony’s place’ as code for the location of the units.

However, this not the first time that a Pakistani spy has been arrested for allegedly transferring important information across the border. In fact, in 2016 the Indian government had shared that more than 46 Pakistani spies had been arrested across India between the years 2013-16. Three Pakistani spies were nabbed in 2016 for getting information from people in BSF, taking the count higher. As a matter of fact, the loophole indubitably lies within the system. How do these outsiders get access to such confidential information lies the question?

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