The Punjab Police on Tuesday arrested two Army personnel and busted a major cross-border espionage network that was allegedly involved in providing classified documents to the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Agency of Pakistan. The breakthrough and recovery of secret documents came while Jalandhar Rural Police, led by SSP Naveen Singla, was investigating a Narcotic Drugs And Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) case.
One of the arrested suspects was identified as Sepoy Harpreet Singh (23) — who hails from village Cheecha in Amritsar — and was posted in Anantnag. He joined the Indian Army in 2017 and belongs to the19 Rashtriya Rifles. The second arrested man is Sepoy Gurbhej Singh (23), a native of village Punian in Tarn Taran, who belongs to 18 Sikh Light Infantry and was working as a clerk in Kargil. He had joined the Indian Army in 2015.
A press release issued from Jalandhar, Director General of Police (DGP), Punjab, Dinkar Gupta, said that Jalandhar Rural Police, led by SSP Naveen Singla, while investigating an NDPS case, recovered confidential and secret documents related to the functioning and deployment of Indian Army from one Ranvir Singh, who was arrested with 70 grams heroin on May 24, 2021. Ranvir is a known cross-border drug smuggler.
He said that during interrogation, Ranvir disclosed that he had got these documents from Sepoy Harpreet Singh, who was his friend, as they both belong to the same village.
“Ranvir motivated and lured Sepoy Harpreet Singh with financial benefits and coaxed him into sharing defence related classified documents. Harpreet, in turn, roped in his friend, Sepoy Gurbhej,” said DGP Dinkar Gupta. He added that since Gurbhej was working as a clerk in 121 Infantry Brigade Headquarters in Kargil, he had easy access to all these classified documents containing both strategic and tactical information relating to the Indian Army.
He said that both the arrested Army personnel had so far shared photos of over 900 classified documents — pertaining to defence of the country and national security — to Ranvir Singh over a period of 4 months between February and May 2021. These documents were further passed on to Pakistani Intelligence Officers.
The DGP revealed that Ranvir further used to send these classified documents to either the Pakistan ISI operatives directly or via one Gopi, who has been identified as the main drug smuggler from Dauke village in Amritsar and had links with Pakistan based drug-smuggling syndicates and ISI officials.
Following Ranvir’s disclosures, the Police have also arrested Gopi, who has confessed to having handed over classified documents to Pakistan-based drug smugglers, one of who has been identified as Kothar, and to an alleged Pak ISI operative — identified as Sikander — in lieu of supply of heroin and financial benefits, DGP Dinkar Gupta said that all the photographs were transmitted over encrypted Apps. According to preliminary investigations, DGP Dinkar Gupta said that Harpreet Singh and Gurbhej Singh got monetary inducements from the ISI for sharing confidential information. He said that Ranvir Singh used to give money to Harpreet Singh, who used to further transfer it to Gurbhej’s account.
SSP Naveen Singla said that both the accused Army personnel have been handed over to Jalandhar Rural Police and further investigations were being carried out to ascertain the involvement of other possible suspects.