An Indian army sepoy has been arrested by Rajasthan police after he was allegedly found to have disclosed information about his unit to an agent of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency who allegedly honey-trapped him. The authorities did not specify when exactly the soldier had been detained.
Somveer Singh, who was posted to the Armoured Corps in Jaisalmer, had come under the scanner of the army intelligence since he began receiving regular phone calls from Jammu, about five months ago. On tracking his Facebook account, intelligence officials found that Singh had been in touch with someone using the name Anika Chopra, who claimed she was a captain in the Military Nursing Corps in Jammu.
As many as 50 soldiers are being questioned by a team of officials from Rajasthan’s Special Task Force as well as the military intelligence over their dalliance with the alleged ISI agent.
News18 reported that Singh had shared sensitive information pertaining to his unit and sent across photographs of tanks and army exercises to the ISI agent. The news website reported that Singh had become Facebook friends with the entity claiming to be Anika in 2016, flattered that he had been approached by a lady officer.
“The online conversation between the two graduated into video chatting and sharing of sexual messages,” an officer of the investigating team was quoted as saying by The Times of India. “Later on, the agent must have lured Somveer into revealing strategic information for rewards.”
The alleged ISI agent asked Singh questions such as, “Where are you posted? Can you send a picture of your tank? When is the field firing taking place?” reported News18. When the ISI agent received the details, Singh was blackmailed for more information.
Singh is also alleged to have received money in exchange for the information. “We have clues that a few months ago Somveer was paid Rs 5,000 for spying,” an investigating officer was quoted as saying by The Times of India. “And that money was transferred into the account of his brother to evade suspicion. Subsequently Somveer transferred money into his e-wallet.”
The soldier, who hails from Rohtak in Haryana, was produced in a court on Saturday morning. “The court has granted us custody till [Friday] January 18,” Superintendent of police Hari Charan Meena was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
Singh has been arrested under the Official Secrets Act, 1923.