Updated: July 7, 2021 7:05:08 am
The Punjab Police on Tuesday claimed to have busted a “cross-border espionage network” with the arrest of two Army personnel — Sepoy Harpreet Singh, 23, (19 Rashtriya Rifles), and Sepoy Gurbhej Singh, 23, (18 Sikh Light Infantry).
Harpreet Singh, a resident of Cheecha village in Amritsar, was posted in Anantnag; Gurbhej Singh, from Punian village in Tarn Taran, was posted in Kargil. Both have been charged with spying for Pakistan’s ISI, under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Official Secrets Act.
In a press statement, Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta said the Jalandhar Rural Police, led by SSP Naveen Singla, had recovered confidential documents related to the deployment and functioning of the Indian Army from a cross-border drug smuggler, Ranvir Singh, who was arrested on May 24.
During interrogation, Ranvir reportedly said he had obtained the documents from Harpreet. Both Harpreet and Ranvir are from the same village.
“Ranvir motivated and lured Sepoy Harpreet Singh with financial benefits for sharing defence-related classified documents, following which the latter induced his friend Sepoy Gurbhej into such anti-national spying activities,” the DGP said.
He said that since Gurbhej was working as a clerk at the 121 Infantry Brigade Headquarters in Kargil, he had access to classified documents containing strategic and tactical information related to the Indian Army.
The DGP said the two soldiers received money for sharing the information. Ranvir would pay Harpreet, who would transfer the money to Gurbhej’s account, he said.
The Army handed over the two soldiers to a team of the Jalandhar police, in Kargil on July 2. On Monday, they were produced before a court in Jalandhar, which sent them to police custody till July 11.
According to police, from February to May this year, the two Army personnel shared photographs of over 900 classified documents with Ranvir, who relayed the information to Pakistan’s ISI, either directly or through another drug smuggler, identified as Gopi.
Following Ranvir’s arrest, Gopi was arrested on June 1. Gopi, from Dauke village in Amritsar, has been identified as a key link to Pakistan-based drug-smuggling syndicates and the ISI.
According to police, Gopi has admitted that he shared classified documents with an ISI operative identified as Sikander and a Pakistan-based drug smuggler identified as Kothar. The DGP said the information was relayed via encrypted Apps.
SSP Naveen Singla said further investigations were on to find out if more people were involved.
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