Army Major under scanner for spying for Pak

A top Army officer has now come under intelligence scanner for spying for Pakistan.

Last Updated: May 06, 2010, 23:43 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Days after an Indian diplomat, posted in Islamabad, was arrested on espionage charges, a top Army officer has now come under intelligence scanner for spying for Pakistan, reports claimed on Thursday.

As per a report published in a leading English daily, Ministry of Defence (MoD) was alerted nearly one month back about the suspicious activities of an Army Major – posted in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands—alleged to have passed some confidential information to Pakistan.

The report further claims that the tip off about the Army Major’s espionage activities were provided by the US intelligence agencies to their Indian counterparts.

Subsequently, the Ministry of Defence began a sensitive counter-intelligence operation and started keeping a tight vigil on Army officer’s activities.

Army’s intelligence wing moved swiftly after the tip off and called the officer to New Delhi.

It has been reported that the intelligence officials, after analysing the bulk of data and emails send from the officer’s computer towards Pakistan, picked him and the officer was put in “safe custody” of the Military Intelligence (MI).

During the initial interrogation, the officer in question has pleaded ignorance of the traffic directed from his computer to Pakistan alleging that it could have been generated by some virus or unknown software.

The officer’s theory failed to convince the MI officials in view of the fact that his computer was recently formatted and cleaned of all contents.

Initial forensic examination done on his computer content in New Delhi had also revealed that some classified information had been sent to Pakistan.

The suspicion further aroused from the fact that the officer was not authorised to have access to some of the classified information, which was sent to Pakistan.
The MI then sent the hard disk of the officer’s computer to a Hyderabad laboratory for further examining the erased content.

In view of the seriousness of the matter, both Defence Minister AK Antony and Home Minister P Chidambaram have been apprised of the development.

The tip-off from the American authorities came after they tracked some data showing a user in Andaman and Nicobar Islands dispatching a picture of a serving Indian Brigadier, who was attending a training programme in the US, to Pakistan.

Army denies

Army however asserted that there
is no evidence so far to suggest espionage activities by the
"This is a case of computer hacking through an external
agency," Army spokesman Col S Om Singh said.

He said the matter was still under investigation.

"However, so far there is no evidence to suggest an
espionage case," Singh said, adding the officer was never
under "safe custody" as reported by media and is on duty with
his parent unit.

Sources in the agencies said no charges of
spying have come so far against the officer. The agencies are
also not ruling out the possibility of his computer being
hacked by Pakistani agents.

-PTI inputs