The Rajasthan police on Friday night arrested an Army jawan, identified as Somveer Singh, posted in Jaisalmer district of the state after it was found that he was allegedly honey trapped by a Pakistani-based ISI operative. The jawan is accused of passing vital information to the Pakistani agent, named as Anika Chopra, who he met on Facebook. Reports suggest that Chopra had not only honey-trapped Singh, who is newly married, but also other soldiers. But Singh claims he did not know of Chopra’s antecedents till the blackmail began. Reports claimed as many as 50 Jawans are under scanner of intelligence agencies after Singh’s arrest. Jaipur's additional DGP Umesh Mishra alerted security forces to be cautious of such attempts by Pakistan.
According to news agency ANI, Singh was in touch with the suspected ISI spy on Facebook.
“The Army is providing all assistance to the civilian authorities in the investigation related to the Army jawan who was arrested by Rajasthan Police,” defence PRO Colonel Sambit Ghosh told ANI.
The army is now tracking multiple accounts of officers and jawans to probe if the Pakistani spy account was in touch with other personnel to get information from them, the agency reported.
Sources told ThePrint.in, the woman had claimed to be a captain in the Medical Corps of the Indian Army.
According to News18, Singh even sent the agent pictures of tanks, revealed the timing of field firing and information to his ‘friend’. Sources in military intelligence said Singh had started accepting money in lieu of information, but added that so far only a trail of Rs 5,000 had been established.
Honey-trapping is a very old form of espionage, but has become big cause for concern in the age of social media.
In September 2018, a BSF jawan was arrested from Noida for spying by Uttar Pradesh’s anti-terror squad. During interrogation Constable Achuytanand Mishra revealed that he was honey-trapped by an agent of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence over Facebook. He was posted at the BSF Composite hospital in Delhi. Mishra was in touch with the girl, who posed as a defence reporter, on the social media since January 2016.
Similarly, last year in October, an Indian Army soldier was arrested on the charges of espionage in Meerut cantonment, news agency ANI has reported. The jawan was deployed at Indian Army’s Signal Regiment in the cantonment. Investigative agencies said that the jawan, who had been deployed at the regiment two years ago, had shared sensitive information to Pakistan-based intelligence operatives through social media.
(With agency inputs)