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Jadhav's phone calls to family in Marathi gave him away: report

Updated Mar 30, 2016 09:43pm

AHMEDABAD: Top Indian intelligence officials suspect Kulbushan Jadhav’s phone had been under surveillance by Pakistani intelligence and believe Jadhav’s complacency led to his capture, revealed the Ahmedabad Mirror.

According to the Ahmedabad Mirror, Indian intelligence officials suspect that many of Jadhav’s habits and mannerisms gave him away and his phone calls in Marathi to his family did not add up with his assumed identity.

“His passport identifies him as Hussein Mubarak Patel; but his mannerisms were nothing like that of a Muslim Patel,” an Indian official told the Ahmedabad Mirror.

In a video confession aired yesterday by the Pakistan government, Jadhav admitted he directed various activities in Karachi and Balochistan at the behest of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and was picked up by Pakistani law enforcement agencies in Balochistan's Chaman near the shared border with Afghanistan earlier this month.

Read: Govt airs video of Indian spy admitting involvement in Balochistan insurgency.

Mumbai police told the Ahmedabad Mirror that Pakistani agencies also monitored Jadhav’s movements in Iran over the years. Police added that Jadhav’s family had lost touch with him in February, leading them to conclude that he has been in Pakistani custody longer than thought.

His family has also been unable to contact his two local emergency contacts, who have been reported missing for over a month. It is unclear whether they have also been captured or ended operations and fled into hiding to maintain plausible deniability.

Deven Bharti, joint commissioner of police (law and order), denied that the Indian Ministry of External Affairs has officially informed Mumbai police of Jadhav’s arrest in Pakistan.

Thane police commissioner Param Bir Singh corroborates the Pakistani government version that they recovered travel documents and multiple fake identities from Jadhav. His passport identifying him as Hussein Mubarak Patel, born in Sangli, Maharashtra, is apparently issued from Thane Regional Passport Office (RPO), but no record of it exists.

"We have tried to establish the veracity of Patel's passport and found that it was not issued from our RPO," says Singh.

"No police verification report was ever submitted by Thane police. In all probability it could be a bogus passport."

Former Indian police officer Shirish Thorat says, “In the event of an asset getting arrested, the handlers immediately secure other related assets like Agents in Places (AIP) or regroup their operations and fold up all the ongoing or future tasks.”

“This discontinuation of operations is far monumental a disaster than the arrest of an operative.”