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Indian diplomat found guilty of spying for ISI

In an espionage case involving an alleged love affair between an Indian diplomat and a Pakistani ISI agent, a Delhi court found the diplomat guilty of spying with the intention of helping an "enemy country".

Indian diplomat
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News Analysis |

On Friday, In an espionage case involving an alleged love affair between an Indian diplomat and a Pakistani ISI agent, a Delhi court found the diplomat guilty of spying with the intention of helping an “enemy country”. The court convicted Madhuri Gupta, who was posted at the Indian high commission in Islamabad, for passing secret information to Pakistan’s ISI agents.

“She had been giving information regarding various postings of officials of defence, MEA and HCI, as well as their family particulars, which would have caused danger to the life and security of those officials,” Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma, stated.

Madhuri Gupta – posted as the Second Secretary (press and information) at the Indian High Commission, eight years ago – was arrested on April 22, 2010  by the Delhi Police Special Cell, under the Official Secrets Act on charges of revealing classified information to the Pakistani officials Mubshar Raza Rana and Jamshed through journalist Javed Rashid.

The bird was seized on Thursday after being spotted carrying a “stamped message” on its body. The message was written partly in Urdu, the official language of Pakistan. It also contained a Pakistani phone number, according to reports.

Delhi Additional Sessions Court Judge Siddharth Sharma held Gupta guilty and convicted her under section 3(1)(c) part 1 (punishable up to a period of 3 years imprisonment) and section 5 of the Officials Secrets Act read with 120 B of the Indian Penal Code.

The arguments on the quantum of sentence will be heard today. India claims that while posted in Islamabad, Gupta had come in touch with Pakistani security agents through a journalist working for a local newspaper in Pakistan. Gupta had passed on sensitive information regarding various postings of Indian officers in different ministries.

The other documents passed also included strategic plans by the Indian government on issues such as India’s engagement in Afghanistan. The documents were sometimes transferred via personal meetings, but mostly by email from Gupta’s computer and a Blackberry phone. Back in 2010, when ‘spy’ Madhuri came under the scanner in Islamabad for espionage, she was called back to Delhi where she had admitted to having committed the crime. The Delhi Police Special Cell had registered an FIR against her and arrested her on April 22, 2010. After eight years, the Delhi court convicted her.

Read more: Pakistan Alleges Indian Diplomats involved in Espionage

Special Prosecutor Irfan Ahmed stressed the more serious charge, entailing a 14-year jail term, was attracted in the case as Gupta had passed on “certain information” pertaining to the “work of defence and factory.” Defence Counsel Joginder Singh Dahiya contested the prosecution’s case, arguing the information was not related to “any work of defence or affairs of government (sic).” Gupta’s lawyer argued she was neither in possession nor control of any such information and therefore, should be acquitted of all charges. The quantum of punishment will be decided on Saturday.

This is not the first time the Pakistani agency ISI has been blamed for spying in India. In February 2017, 11 Pakistani spies were nabbed by Madhya Pradesh ATS. These spies have been accused of taking out Government of India’s important information and sending them across the border to Pakistan. Shockingly, one of the arrested spies was associated with the ruling Bhartiya Janta Party’s IT cell known as Dhruv Saxena.

Delhi Additional Sessions Court Judge Siddharth Sharma held Gupta guilty and convicted her under section 3(1)(c) part 1 (punishable up to a period of 3 years imprisonment) and section 5 of the Officials Secrets Act read with 120 B of the Indian Penal Code.

Of course, there are many who state that the ISI viewed as a bogeyman by Indian politicians who use to distract the masses and evade scrutiny. Often they are aided in this venture by the Indian media which relies on jingoism to garner ratings. In January 2017, an Indian TV channel claimed that the ISI was training suicide dogs to raise havoc inside India. Before that, in 2015, a pigeon was arrested by police in India on suspicion of being a spy from Pakistan. The bird was seized on Thursday after being spotted carrying a “stamped message” on its body.

Read more: ‘I am still a commissioned officer’, says Kulbhushan Jadhav

The message was written partly in Urdu, the official language of Pakistan. It also contained a Pakistani phone number, according to reports. The bird was discovered by a 14-year-old boy in the village of Manwal, around two miles from the border. Social media users were quick to point out that the stamped message was an address and was used, along with the number,  to contact the owner of the bird as per standard procedure.

However, the most ludicrous was the case of the ‘Monkey Man.’ The Monkey Man of New Delhi was an ape-like creature that terrorized the capital city of New Delhi, India in 2001. In May of that year, stories began to circulate in New Delhi of a strange, nocturnal, monkey-like creature that was attacking people. Eyewitness accounts were often inconsistent but tended to describe the creature as about four feet (120 cm) tall, covered in thick black hair. It supposedly wore a metal helmet, had metal claws, pants, glowing red eyes (sometimes beneath goggles) and had three buttons on its chest. Among the many legends about its sources, there were media reports who claimed that it was an ISI plot to sow turmoil in the Indian capital.


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