Major (retired) Nirmal Ajwani’s book on the Samba spy case and his continuing struggle for clearing his name was released in Delhi on Saturday. He began writing The False Spy a day after his lawyer informed him of a court decision upholding termination of the Army officers accused of spying for Pakistan in 1979.
“He told me we have lost the case. Pour your heart out.” Ajwani, who had joined the Army nearly 53 years and was arrested for espionage in 1979, began writing his story the next morning that culminated into the 255-page book.
“I did not know any publishers and I did not know where to take the pages I had written, so I Googled and the closest one I found was in Gurgaon, so I sent them my manuscript and they immediately came on board,” Ajwani told The Sunday Express.
The book details the Samba spy case involving officers and other rank personnel of the Army’s 168 Infantry Brigade arrested for spying and espionage. “After the arrest of Sarwan Dass and Aya Singh, they were forced to take names and subsequently 10 more persons were arrested. I was arrested for being friends with Captain Rana and accused of entering Pakistan with him,” Ajwani said.
Ajwani’s trial was dissolved in 1980. He was removed from service, where he then served in judge advocate general’s department at the Army Headquarters.
“The entire case was dictated by the military intelligence and the book is an attempt at exposing that,” Ajwani said on Saturday. Ajwani said that Dass admitted to falsely implicating others in an affidavit in December 1994. “In 1994, I recorded his confession (as a civilian) and I helped him draft a statement. He said that he had been beaten up so badly that he was forced to take names so the beating would stop.’’
He called the Supreme Court’s 2014 judgment in the case a “miscarriage of justice”. Ajwani said that his review and curative petitions were rejected and the option he was left with was to record his story in the book.