Military Intelligence staffer caught trying to sell secrets

A clerk of Army’s Technical Support Division planned to hand over HQ conversations to Pak.

Written by Manu Pubby | New Delhi | Published: June 2, 2012 3:06 am

A powerful Military Intelligence (MI) unit of the Army is under the scanner after a soldier working as its head clerk was caught in April allegedly trying to sell top secret operational information to Pakistan’s spy agency ISI.

Sources said the soldier was trapped by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in an elaborate operation that involved a “double agent” and a relative of the soldier in Dubai.

A CD,pen drive and highly classified documents were recovered in the operation,sources have confirmed to The Indian Express.

There have been cases in which soldiers have been caught trying to sell information but what has rattled the Army is the depth and range of information that the clerk,identified as Shivdasan,was allegedly trying to sell.

The data is still being examined by the Army but it is believed to contain detailed operational plans,information on troop deployments and even conversations between top officers at Army Headquarters.

Shivdasan was working for the recently created Technical Support Division (TSD) within MI. This special unit,headed by Colonel Honey Bakshi,is believed to have access to a range of privileged information. The unit had recently come under scrutiny on charges of illegal surveillance,an allegation that was denied by former Army Chief Gen V K Singh who accused retired Lt Gen Tejinder Singh of leaking incorrect information. The TSD unit was created in the last two years and functions from within Army Headquarters.

Sources said the DRI received information on an individual trying to sell “sensitive information” in April. A preliminary probe,sources said,established that Shivdasan had contacted a relative of his in Dubai with an offer to sell classified information. Shivdasan,who hails from Kerala,found it convenient to receive the money at Kochi. His relative got in touch with an “agent” in Dubai to broker the deal. This agent,sources said,turned out to be a DRI informant who is said to have laid a trap for Shivdasan in Kochi.

The sleuths in Kochi alerted DRI headquarters in New Delhi which,in turn,informed the Army and asked it to take over the probe. DRI has not registered an FIR in the case as the Army is taking action. An Army spokesperson was unavailable for comment.

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