Honey-trapped on social media, jawan leaks secret Army information to ISI


Honey-trapped on social media, jawan leaks secret Army information to ISIJAIPUR: An Army jawan was arrested from Rajasthan's Jaisalmer on Friday for sharing confidential information with Pakistani intelligence agencies after being honey trapped on social media.

Sepoy Sombir, who is currently in police custody, is being quizzed by the Rajasthan police to determine what strategic details he divulged to the neighbouring country, an officer of the State Special Branch (SSB) said on Sunday. Sombir, a resident of Haryana, had joined Army in 2016.

According to sources, a fake account run by an ISI female spy under the name Anika Chopra approached Sombir on social media seven months ago. The spy introduced herself as an officer with Army Medical Corps in Jammu and later sent him "intimate" message to lure him. She also asked the jawan to send confidential information about the Army, including pictures of tanks, armoured vehicles, weapons, and location of army companies.

The police suspect the social media account originated in Pakistan's Karachi. "Sombir was sharing very intimate messages with Anika," an officer said, adding that the accused has confessed to sharing "crucial information with Anika's account." He said that Sombir's mobile has been seized to investigate "how much information was sent across the border."

Initial investigation indicate that he was not just involved in espionage activities but was also being paid for sharing strategic information. "We have clues that a few months ago, Sombir was paid Rs 5,000 for spying. That money was transferred into his brother's account in order to evade suspicion. Subsequently Sombir transferred money into his e-wallet," an officer from the investigating team told TOI.

Police said that till 2017, the ISI used locals to spy on the army deployment, but the network was decimated in 2018, following which they began "preying on new army recruits."

According to sources, The ISI agent used to "get friendly with anyone and everyone dressed in Army attires" and she had approached several people whose profile photos showed them in Army fatigues.

"She first came to our notice for the first on July 9, 2017 when we picked up a 19-year-old son of an Ajmer cop for questioning. He had lied to his parents about being selected by the Indian Army and posted photos in Army fatigue online," an officer said, adding that the Pakistani agent had approached this teenager under a different alias, Neetu Ahirwal. She had then introduced herself as a resident of Sagar in Madhya Pradesh.

"Neetu wanted him to share confidential details about the Army's Nasirabad cantonment. But youth did not know anything. He began bluffing but she realised he was lying and stopped contact with him," the officer said, adding that Neetu's picture is the same as recovered from Sombir's phone.

"She had different IDs on multiple social media platforms under different names. She told Sombir she was working in Jammu and was a native of Gujarat. With the Ajmer boy, she claimed to be a private teacher," the officer said.

The girl had befriended many an army personnel online. But according to ADGP (Intelligence) Umesh Mishra, it was only Sombir who actively shared confidential details.

Sombir was produced before a local court on Saturday morning. "The court has granted us custody till January, 18," deputy superintendent of police, Hari Charan Meena said, adding that the accused has been arrested under multiple sections of the Official Secrets Act, 1923.