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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Armymen were spying for ISI, backed by drug smuggling syndicate

Punjab Police on Tuesday said it had busted a major cross-border espionage network with the arrest of two Indian Army personnel on charges of spying and providing classified documents to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

The two arrested soldiers include Sepoy Harpreet Singh (23), who hails from Cheecha village in Amritsar, and was posted in J&K’s Anantnag. He joined the Army in 2017 and belongs to 19 Rashtriya Rifles.

The other, Sepoy Gurbhej Singh (23), a native of Punian village in Tarn Taran, belongs to 18 Sikh Light Infantry and was working as a clerk in an army establishment in Kargil. He had joined the Army in 2015.

Sharing details, Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta said Jalandhar Rural police, led by SSP Naveen Singla, while investigating a drug case, got tip-offs relating to the functioning and deployment of the Indian Army from cross-border drug smuggler Ranvir Singh, who was arrested with 70 grams heroin on May 24.

He said that, during interrogation, Ranvir Singh disclosed that he got these documents from Harpreet Singh, who was his friend, as they both belong to the same village.

“Ranvir Singh motivated and lured Sepoy Harpreet Singh with financial benefits for sharing defence related classified documents, following which the latter induced his friend Sepoy Gurbhej into such anti-national spying activities,” the DGP said, adding that since Gurbhej Singh was working as a clerk in 121 Infantry Brigade headquarters in Kargil, he could get easy access to these classified documents containing both strategic and tactical information relating to defence.

He said both the accused had already shared photos of over 900 classified documents, pertaining to defence of the country and national security to Ranvir Singh between February and May, who had further passed them on to the Pakistani intelligence.

The DGP said Ranvir Singh further used to send these classified documents to either the Pakistan ISI operatives directly or via Gopi, who has been identified as the main drug smuggler from Dauke village in Amritsar having links with Pakistan based drug-smuggling syndicates and ISI officials, who invariably work in tandem with each other.

Following Ranvir Singh’s disclosures, police have also arrested Gopi, who has confessed to having transferred classified documents to Pakistan-based drug smuggler, one of whom has been identified as Kothar and an alleged Pak ISI operative identified as Sikander in lieu of supply of heroin and financial benefits, said Gupta.

According to preliminary investigations, the DGP said Harpreet Singh and Gurbhej Singh got monetary inducements for sharing confidential information.

SSP Singla said the Army authorities had handed over both the accused to Jalandhar rural police and further investigations were being carried out to ascertain the involvement of any other accused persons.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)

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