Kerala Kaumudi Online
Monday, 20 September 2021 5.06 AM IST

Punjab Police arrests two Army personnel for spying, providing classified documents to Pakistan's ISI


JALANDHAR: Punjab Police on Tuesday arrested two Army personnel on charges of spying and providing classified documents to Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), therefore busting a major cross-border espionage network.

Dinkar Gupta, Director General of Police (DGP), Punjab informed that the arrested personnel have been identified as 23-year-old Sepoy Harpreet Singh and Sepoy Gurbhej Singh.

"Those arrested have been identified as Sepoy Harpreet Singh (23), who hails from village Cheecha in Amritsar and was posted in Anantnag. He joined the Indian Army in 2017 and belongs to 19 Rashtriya Rifles. Sepoy Gurbhej Singh (23), a native of village Punian in Tarn Taran, belongs to 18 Sikh Light Infantry and was working as a clerk in Kargil. He had joined the Indian Army in 2015," the DGP said.

Sharing further details, Gupta said that Jalandhar Rural Police, while investigating a Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) case, recovered confidential and secret documents related 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, 2021.

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

"Ranvir 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," Gupta said.

"Since Gurbhej 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 the Indian Army," he added.

Gupta further informed that the accused Army personnel had shared photos of over 900 classified documents pertaining to the defence of the country and national security to Ranvir Singh over a period of 4 months between February and May 2021. Ranvir had further passed them on to the Pakistani Intelligence Officers.

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

"Following Ranvir's disclosures, the 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 Pakistan ISI operative identified as Sikander in lieu of supply of heroin and financial benefits," Gupta said adding that all the photographs were transmitted over encrypted mobile applications.

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

"Ranvir Singh gave money to Harpreet Singh, who further used to transfer it to Gurbhej's account," Gupta added.

Senior Superintendents of Police (SSP) Jalandhar Rural Police, Naveen Singla said, "The Army authorities had handed over both the accused Army personnel to Jalandhar Rural Police and further investigations were being carried out to ascertain the involvement of any other accused persons."

Meanwhile, sections 124-A and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sections 3, 5, and 9 of the Official Secrets Act have been added after nominating the names of both the Army personnel and Gopi in the FIR which was initially registered against Ranvir under sections 21(B)/61/85 of the NDPS Act at Police Station Mehatpur in Jalandhar Rural, DGP Gupta informed.

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