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Indian paper explains how Kulbhushan Yadav blew his cover in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD/RAWALPINDI: An Indian news paper has explained that how Kulbhushan Yadav, India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) agent, was arrested by Pakistani authorities.

The newspaper named Ahmedabad Mirror which is owned by the Times of India, in its article named “How did Pak arrest Yadav? They heard him speak Marathi” stated that the intelligence officers stated that Yadav started speaking like a “Marathi Manoos” when he blew his cover while conversing with his family. It was also mentioned that Pakistan has been told by India, that although he may be an India but has nothing to do with the Indian government.

The officers added that Yadav became complacent after having worked in the region for more than 14 years. The Pakistani agencies had put his mobile phone on surveillance after finding out something suspicious and out of line with the character he was portraying while working under the cover of a Muslim man named Hussain Mubarak Patel.

“Yadav’s habit of speaking to his family in Marathi and with extreme familiarity and comfort level in the language betrayed his cover his passport identifies him as Husain Mubarak Patel; but his mannerisms were nothing like that of a Muslim Patel,” the newspaper stated.

The article added that Thane Regional Passport Office (RPO) had issued Yadav’s passport, which showed Sangli, Maharashtra as his birthplace. Thane police commissioner Param Bir Singh stated that, “We have tried to establish the veracity of Patel’s passport and found that it was not issued from our RPO. No police verification report was ever submitted by Thane police. In all probability it could be a bogus passport.”

Yadav’s friends in Mumbai Police told the newspaper that he was under the surveillance of Pakistani authorities when he was moving about in Iran.

“Yadav could have been honeytrapped before his arrest and then subjected to ruthless methods of interrogation and torture to extract information from him over a period of several weeks, they feel. The family had lost contact with Yadav since February leading to the suspicion that he was in the custody of Pakistan for a while now. As a result, two other local contacts who were supposed to provide back-up assistance to Yadav are also reportedly missing for over a month. The standard operating procedure is to always have some ‘contacts’ on standby to be the contact persons in times of emergency or when there is total blackout of communications and inaccessibility of the person of interest,” the article stated.

“Both the Indian contacts are inaccessible and have probably gone underground or are on the run unless they have already been arrested and thrown behind bars -disclosed officers from the Mumbai police. The fallout of the Yadav’s arrest is the frantic counterwinding operations launched by the Indian agencies in India as also in Pakistan. According to experts, the operations which are connected to an operative have to be immediately erased or folded up soon after he is outed so that there is always a plausible deniability,” the article added.

Former Indian police officer Shirish Thorat said that in the event of an asset getting arrested, the handlers immediately secure other related assets such as Agents in Places (AIP) or reorganize their operations and fold up all future tasks.

“In Yadav’s case too, the agencies have launched an expeditious exercise to retrace his footsteps and shut down all of his possible ongoing operations. The first step is to disown Yadav as their operative and also ask the family to disassociate with him. Yadav’s family wanted to approach the top echelons of the government, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, to exert pressure on Pakistan to release him” the article read.

Devan Bharti, the joint commissioner of police (law and order) stated in the negative when he was inquired about whether the Ministry of External Affairs had spoken to the Mumbai police so Yadav’s family could be informed of his arrest in Pakistan.

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