Ramesh Singh is accused of the helping the ISI bug the laptop and tablet of an Indian diplomat in Islamabad

A suspected ISI agent who was arrested in May for allegedly working for the Pakistani agency while employed as a “cook” in an Indian diplomat’s house in Islamabad has retracted his confessional statement to the police.

The suspect, identified as Ramesh Singh, who was posted in Pakistan from 2015 to 2017, was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terror Squad. The police said Singh had confessed to helping bug the laptop and tablet of the diplomat.

Singh’s confession, accessed by The Hindu, says he came into contact with a Pakistani staffer, “Masih”, at the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.

Singh was posted as a domestic help in the house of the diplomat and gave access to the ISI agents at least on four occasions. “He said that on three occasions, he gave the diplomat’s laptop and tablet to some men waiting in a car outside the house,” a senior police officer said.

The officer said Singh disowned his statement when he was produced before a Lucknow court on July 10 and this would pose difficulty in proving the conspiracy hatched by the ISI.

Aseem Arun, Inspector-General, ATS, confirmed that Singh had denied his statement.

“Masih” got in touch with Singh and initially supplied him pornographic CDs. “He also visited some brothels. He was threatened by the ISI that if he didn’t act on its orders, it would inform the Indian agencies about his acts. The Pakistan agency lured him into a trap and then blackmailed him to do its bidding,” the officer said.

Singh, a resident of Pithoragarh in Uttarkhand, got the job at the diplomat’s house through the reference of a relative who is in the Army.

“The ISI tapped him when he was in Pakistan. He continued to work for it even when he returned to India in September 2017,” the officer said.

An officer said the diplomat was unaware of the espionage activities of Singh till he was arrested. “He never found out that the devices were bugged or that strangers had visited his house,” the officer said.

The police said Singh was found in possession of a list which had the names of officers who were due for promotion and were to be posted in Pakistan.

“Singh was asked to come back to Pakistan as domestic help with any of these officials,” said the officer.

Only evidence

The officer said the list was the only credible evidence found so far from his possession that could link him with the ISI.

“We recovered a Pakistani mobile phone from his house in Uttarakhand but were not able to extract any data from it. The device has been sent to experts to get more details,” the officer said.

The police said Singh’s name surfaced while investigating another espionage racket they busted in May 2017. A Faizabad resident, Aftab Ali, was arrested by the U.P. police on the basis of information provided by the Military Intelligence. The police said there were common links in both the cases.

“As per our investigation, Singh had conducted reconnaissance of the Air Force Base in Saharanpur and Bareilly. These were smaller tasks given to Singh to check his motivation level. He confessed to the crime within 10 minutes of his arrest,” the officer said.

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