Indian mission yet to be approached
By P K Balachandran - COLOMBO
04th October 2012 10:01 AM
The Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka is yet to be approached by the Tamil Nadu police in the espionage case in which an Indian national, Thameem Ansari, had allegedly been spying for Pakistan at the behest of a Pakistani diplomat based in Colombo.
Top Indian diplomats told Express here on Wednesday, that the mission could not get involved in the case unless and until a request for it comes from the Tamil Nadu police through the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi. If any such request were to come, the mission would take up the matter with the Sri Lankan Ministry of External Affairs, they said. The diplomats clarified that they could not make any move on their own merely on the basis of newspaper reports in the case. Reports in the Indian media from September 22 onwards had said that Amir Zubair Siddiqui, a senior Pakistani diplomat based in Colombo (some said that he was a counsellor while sources in Colombo said that he was a First Secretary) had been named by the Tamil Nadu police in the First Information Report (FIR) lodged in Tiruchy. The ‘Q’ branch of the TN police had arrested Thameem Ansari for being a “contact” in TN for Siddiqui. He was taking pictures of Indian military establishments in TN and Andhra Pradesh. A special team of the ‘Q’ branch had arrested Ansari while he was driving to the Tiruchy airport to catch a Colombo flight to deliver DVDs containing pictures of military establishments taken by him. Ansari was to hand over the DVDs to two Sri Lankan contacts identified as Haji and Shaji, living in Colombo. The FIR had named Haji and Shaji also.
Indian officials said that the real identity of Haji and Shaji had to be established before seeking their custody and that it was not an easy task.
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