Mahesh Kumar, an civilian defence employee in India has been arrested by the Haryana Police on Wednesday for giving out classified information to a Pakistani Military Intelligence (MI) unit as he was baited by a young woman to share information in exchange for money reported Timesnownews.
Police reports suggest that Kumar had been in touch with the Pakistani MI unit operatives for two and a half years and has received monetary sums from the operatives multiple times.
Pakistani Intelligence Operative run Facebook accounts
According to sources, Lucknow MI received intel in June Kumar was passing on classified defence information to a female operative working for the Pakistan military. Kumar addressed the female operative as “Madamji”, and thus operation “Op Madamji” was launched by the MI to get to the bottom of the information leaks.
MI shared details of the investigation with STF Haryana and the two joined efforts to investigate the matter further, after which an operation to extract and interrogate the suspect was planned. However, the subject fled Haryana before the operation could be launched.
Kumar was expected to visit Rewari again on Wednesday according to the STF Haryana and now the MI and STF Haryana once again formulated a new strategy to arrest the suspect. Kumar’s phone was seized and taken for examination after being arrested on Wednesday afternoon.
During his interrogation, Kumar admitted to have sent out a friend request to a Facebook account by the name of ‘Harleen Gill’ in July of 2018. They became friends and continued to chat and exchange messages on Messenger.
The account was run by a female PIO, but the account was deactivated after several months. The PIO sent Kumar a friend request in 2019, only this time the Facebook account title was ‘Harman Kour’. Talks between Kumar and the PIO resumed on Messenger and later shifted to WhatsApp.
Kumar sharing classified defence information in exchange for money
According to sources Kumar admitted to the police he had shared ORBAT of a Jaipur based Army Brigade, details relating to senior officers in Jaipur, location of PCDA Jaipur, MES complaint records details, Covid-19 state of the Jaipur cantonment and a posting order of civilian MES employees.
The PIO inquired about other personnel serving in Jaipur and Bikaner and their contact details, information regarding movement of units in Jaipur, and posting details of other MES employees. Kumar was also promised by the PIO that she will get him posted to Delhi in order to attain greater cooperation.
Kumar confessed to have shared his bank account details with the PIO and had received monetary sums of Rs 5,000 twice as a gift from the PIO in September of 2019 and in January of 2020.
Even though Kumar was just part of the cleaning staff in MES Jaipur, he was found to have confidential information and photos of several letters and notices in his mobile phone including some with security classification.
Kumar was brought before the Duty Magistrate on Wednesday night and has been booked in violation of Official Secret Act followed by an FIR lodged on Thursday. After undertaking a COVID-19 test he is expected to be brought before a court in Rewar.
GVS News Desk with additional input by other sources