NIA arrests Lankan for ‘spying’

The accused, identified as Arun Selvaraj, allegedly disguised himself as an event manager.

Written by Vijaita Singh | New Delhi | Published: September 11, 2014 2:58 am

The NIA Wednesday arrested a Sri Lankan national from Chennai for allegedly spying on vital installations, including the Chennai-based National Security Guard hub at the behest of an official in the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo. The accused, identified as Arun Selvaraj, allegedly disguised himself as an event manager and was planted in Chennai by his Pakistani handler since 2011, an NIA official said.

The arrest is in connection with a case registered against SFI activist Thameem Ansari who was caught by Tamil Nadu police in 2012 for allegedly spying on the directions of Amir Subair Siddiqui, posted as Counsellor (visa) at Pakistan High Commission in Colombo. The case was transferred to the NIA last year. Selvaraj, wanted in Sri Lanka for a “serious offence”, has a “look out circular” issued against him. He was running a company called ICE events. As per the company’s website, it has branches in Bangalore and Hyderabad.

A senior NIA official said Selvaraj was planted in Chennai for the past three years and was getting a huge sum of money for espionage activities. “Selvaraj’s direct handler was a Pakistani identified as Lanka Saghe, Siddiqui’s junior. We found photos of the Officers Training Academy, the Coast Guard and the NSG hub from his laptop. We have credible information that he was spying for Pakistan,” he said.

“He is in possession of two passports — one from Sri Lanka and another from India. He is learnt to have gained access to vital installations under the guise of managing events,” the NIA said.

The officer added that he had conducted reconnaissance in crowded areas in Chennai and was passing the information to his Pakistani handler.

According to the website of ICE events, the company has done events for Padma Bhushan singer K J Yesudas.

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