JAIPUR: Intelligence agencies of Rajasthan police have found that ISI handlers allegedly set up donation boxes at places of worship, and use the money donated by devotees to fund spies in the border villages of the state.

The sleuths unearthed the funding network while interrogating ISI spy Deena Khan, who was arrested last week from a remote village in Barmer district. “Khan revealed that he was in-charge of a small Mazar in Chohtan village of Barmer district and distributed Rs 3.5 lakh of Mazar’s donation to other spies like Satram Maheswari and his nephew Vinod Maheswari,” a senior officer of the state intelligence and security wing told TOI, adding that Deena’s handlers in Pakistan would call him over phone, and ask him to distribute fund accordingly.

The officer said Deena Khan disturbed the amount among several spies, including Satram and Haji Khan, who were arrested by the border intelligence earlier this year for sharing confidential information about the movement of Indian troops along the international border. “Since no record books were maintained by the Mazar authorities, Deena Khan secretly used part of the religious offerings to fund anti-national activities,” the officer said.

The police suspect that ISI may have set up several such donation boxes at multiple locations in border areas to fund its espionage activities. “It is difficult to distribute money through hawala network as it can be traced. Hence, the donation boxes are easy way to collect money and distribute it among the spies,” the officer said.

Intelligence agencies are now keeping a close tab over the sudden spike in make-shift places of worship that have sprung up in border villages. “The district superintendents of police have been directed to keep a close vigil at such places. With enhanced coordination and strategic planning, we have traced the network of foreign intelligence,” said deputy IG, R Suhasaa.

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