Delhi Police has arrested a Group Captain, posted at the Indian Air Force headquarters, for allegedly sharing classified information about the three new tri-service agencies in the field of cyber warfare, space and special operations with two women.
The arrest was made on Wednesday evening, 10 days after the Air Force Intelligence Wing caught him red-handed with his cellphone when he entered the headquarters. Carrying a phone is prohibited inside the premises.
Confirming the arrest, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Pramod Kushwaha said, “We have arrested Group Caption Arun Marwaha. He was produced before a Delhi court, which remanded him in police custody for five days.”
Also read | Air Force officer’s colleague on police radar
The complaint against Group Captain Arun Marwaha was lodged by Station Security Officer Squadron Leader Rupinder Singh at the New Delhi range of the Delhi Police’s Special Cell.
On February 7, an FIR regarding the matter was registered under sections of 3/5/9 of the Official Secrets Act at Lodhi Colony police station.
“Initial probe has revealed that Marwaha was lured by two women, suspected to be working for a foreign spy agency, and was being blackmailed. He befriended them on Facebook around three months ago. After talking to them on the social networking site for a while, they exchanged their phone numbers and started chatting on WhatsApp,” an officer said. Further investigation in the case is underway.
In the FIR, the complainant has stated, “Marwaha was working as Joint Director (operations). During questioning, he disclosed before officers of Air Force intelligence wing that he was in touch with two women, and had passed on classified information about three new formations — Defence Cyber Agency, Defence Space Agency and a Special Operations Division — to them. He also shared a classified document about the forthcoming Air Force Exercise with them, which is likely to help enemies and will affect the ‘sovereignty and integrity of India’.”
Singh claimed they received a secret input that some sensitive documents containing information on ongoing operations of the Indian Air Force were passed on to some illegal persons. “Acting on this information, the sleuths of the Air Force intelligence wing started monitoring the activities of the officers concerned. During investigation, it came to fore that Marwaha was constantly getting his high-end dual-SIM phone at the headquarters. Phones are prohibited at the premises,” he said in the complaint.
After collecting several crucial evidence, police questioned Marwaha on January 30 after he was caught carrying the phone red-handed.
“During questioning, he admitted that he had taken pictures of the classified documents, which were in his custody, on his cellphone. He also confessed that he had sent the pictures of the documents to the two women on WhatsApp and Telegram chats. His cellphone was recovered, and sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) of the CBI,” a senior police officer said.
The officer added that they are in direct touch with the officers of the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing.
A senior police officer said investigators from Air Force’s counter-intelligence wing are probing whether he was part of a larger espionage ring.
Punishment under Official Secrets Act entails a jail term of up to seven years, police said.