Pakistan’s ISI is tapping into Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) terror network to fuel and revive the Khalistan movement in Punjab, law enforcement agency sources reveal.

Investigation into certain terror cases and intelligence inputs has led to a “well-knitted conspiracy” showing that the ISI is using the terrorist network of proscribed outfits such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) to again “destabilise” Punjab, said top sources of an anti-terror organisation.

An official of a security agency fears a possible spike in anti-national activities outside the J&K region perpetrated by the ISI using executors and modus operandi, designed to make it difficult to trace back directly to Pakistan.

The Indian intelligence agencies, it is learnt, are scanning through names of some suspected ISI agents stationed on the other side of the border in Pakistan to track renewed push to terrorism in J&K and Punjab.

Smuggling drugs

One of them has been identified as Abdul Hameed Khan, presently residing in the Kotli area of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, who has cultivated overground workers in J&K for multiple purposes — for logistics, seeking sensitive strategic information, and engaging the people of Punjab to create fissures in the State which also borders Pakistan and witnessing a spurt in smuggling of drugs.

Abdul Hameed Khan’s name had also propped up in a case of JIC police station of Jammu in which FIR was registered way back on November 14 last year. It emerged in the case that the ISI is brainwashing criminals through their own nations or sympathisers when both are lodged in a jail.

Abdul Hammed had tasked Mohammed Rafiq Khan to deposit ₹10,000 in a bank account of Darshan Singh, a native of Sangroor in Punjab. Darshan’s account number was provided to Mohammed Rafiq by Gurpal Singh, who had developed friendly relationship with a Pakistani national, Sajid Bukhari, when the two were lodged in Sangroor Jail, reveals the charge sheet filed before the Lead Court of third Additional Session Judge Jammu.

Bukhari, after his release and deportation to Pakistan, continued his engagement with Gurpal over social media platforms and introduced him to Abdul Hameed and other Pakistani handlers, high level sources in J&K’s State Investigation Agency, which probed the case, told BusinessLine.  

Provoking people of Punjab

The SIA, pointed out high level agency sources, has gathered “substantial digital evidence” to unravel that Gurpal Singh and various other Pakistani handlers have been sharing anti-Indian and pro-Khalistani content to provoke the people of Punjab.

In his social media chat and audio clips recovered from the phone of Gurpal, Abdul Hameed is observed tutoring Gurpal regarding the sale of ‘chitta’ (narcotic) in Punjab to meet his own expenses and to utilise the contraband for radicalisation of youth. The chat specifically mentioned that chitta is available at the rate of ₹14 lakh per kg if delivered in Rajouri and can be sold at ₹60-70 lakh in Punjab.

The rocket-propelled grenade attack at the Punjab police intelligence headquarters too had highlighted the growing trend. Director General of Punjab police VK Bhawra had said Canada-based Lakhbir Singh Landa in connivance with a Khalistani militant Harvinder Singh Randa, who is in Pakistan and under the protection of the ISI, was behind the RPG blast.