The Pakistan High Commission employee, who was last week expelled by India for spying, had named 16 other "staffers" who were also allegedly involved in the espionage ring, police said today.
Pakistani High Commission staffer Mehmood Akhtar, in the joint interrogation by Delhi Police and intelligence agencies, had claimed that 16 other employees of the diplomatic mission were in touch with spies for extracting sensitive information and documents pertaining to army and BSF deployment, said a senior police officer privy to the probe.
The officer said that his claims are still being verified and, if found to be true, the police might write to the Ministry of External Affairs to take the matter forward.
Crime Branch teams are raiding various places in Rajasthan to apprehend the locals who were providing confidential documents and information to Akhtar, who allegedly headed the espionage racket.
Two teams of Crime Branch are currently in Rajasthan along with the other arrested accused-- Maulana Ramzan, Subhash Jangir and Shoaib-- to seek details of paramilitary personnel who might be involved in leaking information to them, sources said. Two persons have also been detained in Rajasthan and are currently being questioned, said the officer.
"It is suspected that some retired officers were in touch with the arrested spies," he said.
Samajwadi Party's Rajya Sabha MP Munavvar Saleem's personal assistant Farhat Khan was also arrested last week in connection with the espionage racket. The Pakistan High Commission staffer was caught receiving secret documents here on October 26.
Ramzan and Jangir, residents of Nagaur, Rajasthan, were held along with Akhtar. Another accused Shoaib was detained in Jodhpur and brought to Delhi by the police where he was arrested.
Meanwhile, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has alleged that the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi has become an “ISI den” and that it is breaking all rules and laws.
The party said that the union government has taken cognisance of the matter and will take appropriate action in this case.
"The reality is that the high commission here has become an ISI den. It is breaking all rules and laws...Its work is no longer about diplomatic relationship. It has become a centre of smuggling information from here to there (Pakistan)," BJP National Secretary Shrikant Sharma said.
(With PTI inputs)