Monday, 11 October, 2010

Spies sent to foil plots in Delhi

A COTERIE of spies from Australia, Britain and the United States travelled to New Delhi to investigate terrorist threats to the Commonwealth Games, a British newspaper claims.

The Daily Telegraph quoted British and Indian ''security sources'' as saying that two dozen senior intelligence agents visited India.

The paper said they were investigating Lashkar-e-Tayiba, the Pakistani jihadi group responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks in which 166 people died, and an Indian group linked to them, Indian Mujahideen. An escalation of tension between India and Pakistan was of most concern.

Advertisement: Story continues below A spokesman for Attorney-General Robert McClelland would not comment on the report, but said there was ''a high risk of terrorist attack in New Delhi''.

''We continue to receive reports that terrorists plan to attack public places, including hotels and tourist locations in New Delhi, Mumbai and other major cities. Australian sporting organisations, individual athletes or tourists need to make their own decisions on whether to attend the Games.''


Lebanon arrests suspected Israeli spies

The Lebanese security forces arrest nine people suspected of spying for Israel, the country's army has said in an official statement.

The statement said the nine suspected spies were detained over the past two months, a Press TV correspondent reported on Monday.

The interrogation process with four of the suspected spies has been completed and they have been transferred to the judicial authorities, the statement said.

The remaining five are still being interrogated by the army, it added.

Lebanon has stepped up efforts to disband the spy groups working for the Israeli spy agency, Mossad.

More than 100 people have been arrested on suspicion of spying for Mossad since April 2009, including members of the country's security forces and telecommunications personnel.


Monday, 19 July, 2010

‘Spy’ plans plight protest at PM door

Chandigarh, July 18: A former Indian “spy” to Pakistan, who is jobless and cannot pay his medical bills, has decided to stage a sit-in outside the Prime Minister’s house to highlight the plight of secret agents in the country.

“I will try to sit outside Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s residence to demand better conditions for our families. That is the least the government can do for us,” Balbir Singh said over phone from his home at Mahal in Amritsar.

Frail and in his 60s, Balbir had to give up his job as a night watchman last year after a heart ailment confined him to bed for months. His son Jaswant, 18, was forced to drop out of school and do odd jobs to run the home. So was his daughter Jaswinder, 17, who once dreamt of being a software engineer.

Balbir was apparently sent to Peshawar on a spying mission in the late sixties along with Kashmir Singh, who was freed from Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail in 2008 after prolonged legal proceedings. They were arrested on their way back to Lahore after their mission, Balbir claimed.

“We were arrested on June 19, 1974, on the outskirts of Rawalpindi. While Kashmir got the death sentence, I was sentenced to 10 years and released in 1986 along with some other agents. We were simply pushed into India by the Pakistanis from an area in Abohar,” he said.

Balbir claimed the Indian government had never bothered to care for its former spies or even acknowledge their existence. Although Kashmir Singh was accorded a hero’s welcome in 2008, felicitated by the Punjab government and given money and a plot of land, nothing similar has come Balbir’s way.

“We are only seeking a future for our children,” he said. “We have launched court cases demanding compensation, but have not been able to get any rulings in our favour. Lawyers say any legal endorsement will mean that the government engages in espionage. But there are countries who have accepted their spies.”

Balbir said he was trying to get other former spies to accompany him at the proposed sit-in outside the Prime Minister’s house. “We can even squat in Jantar Mantar to highlight our plight. There are many who are completely bed-ridden, some pull rickshaws to sustain their families.”

Balbir said that after Partition most secret agents had been hired through word of mouth, given language training and sent across the border on specific missions. “We used to mostly cross when people were busy with their prayers. Sometimes we were sent with no specific mission.”