The National Investigation Agency on Wednesday sought from the Tamil Nadu Police details of the suspected ISI-sponsored espionage module busted with the arrest of 35-year-old Thamim Ansari in Tiruchi a couple of days ago, NIA sources said.
According to an NIA official, the espionage module had raised apprehensions among law-enforcing agencies about the existence of more such operatives in this part of the country. “A special team will visit Thanjavur for further investigation. The contents of the DVDs seized from the possession of the suspects will be analysed,” he said.
According to police sources, two DVDs containing defence-related visuals were seized from him Ansari, who admitted to interrogators that he had sent a few ‘consignments’ to Sri Lanka through agents working for a Pakistan High Commission official there. “Prima facie, it appears that Ansari’s role was confined to recording the visuals and passing them on. It is not clear why they chose a man from Tamil Nadu to shoot visuals of defence training programmes in the north,” a top police officer said.
Investigators would soon move the jurisdiction court in Tiruchi to seek the custody of Ansari for further interrogation.
Preliminary investigation indicated that Ansari’s future assignment was to cover the nuclear submarine facility at ‘INS Varsha’ and other Naval establishments in Visakhapatnam. “As of now, we have not come across any link to terrorist organisations. But visuals of sensitive defence establishments going out of the country pose a security risk. We will seek the assistance of Interpol to trace two Sri Lankan nationals, Haji and Shaji,” the officer said.