The Rajasthan Police have arrested an Army jawan posted in Jaisalmer after he was allegedly honey-trapped by a Pakistan-based ISI operative whom he met on Facebook.
The jawan has been accused of passing crucial information to the Pakistani agent.
The Pakistani agent under the assumed name of Anika Chopra claimed to be an Army Captain of the Military Nursing Corps and in her profile picture she is seen wearing a green saree with a pretty smile on her face. Fifty more jawans are under the scanner of intelligence agencies.
The honey-trapping incident comes even as the intelligence agencies had in the past flagged concerns over such tactics of the ISI.
Sepoy Somveer Singh, posted with an armoured unit in Jaisalmer, was arrested after he was caught sharing sensitive information and pictures of his location and Army exercises with the Pakistani agent.
It was clear to both military intelligence and to Rajasthan Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) that Chopra was a Pakistani agent who had honey-trapped not just Singh many other fellow soldiers as well. Singh who is married claimed that he did not know of Chopra’s antecedents till she started blackmailing him.
Singh had met Anika on Facebook in 2016 shortly after being commissioned into the Army.
Singh, who hails from Rohtak, was flattered when a lady officer approached him with a friend request. The relationship between the two soon turned so intimate that Singh is said to have even made up his mind to divorce his wife and marry Anika.
Oblivious from the surveillance on him, Singh was being tracked by the MI after regular phone calls on his number were being received from a Jammu number and continued for months, triggering alarm bells in the covert agency.
Subsequent tracking of Singh’s Facebook chats revealed that Anika was operating from Pakistan.
It began with, Anika asking him questions that seemed innocent - where are you posted? Can you send a picture of your tank? When is the field firing taking place?
Singh didn’t hesitate while sharing such information to his so called ‘friend’. Once he revealed the information, Anika started blackmailing him.
Military intelligence sources claimed that Singh had even started accepting money in lieu of information. However, a trail of only Rs 5,000 has been established till now.
Sources said Anika had not only been flirting just with him but around 50 other soldiers who are suspected to have disguised their identities on Facebook. These soldiers are being questioned by a joint team of Rajasthan ATS and military intelligence.
Singh’s questioning has revealed that Anika used to give each jawan a specific time for chatting with them.
Honey-trapping remains the most-favoured tool of the ISI and the problem has been compounded by instant messaging platforms. Army Chief Bipin Rawat had last year flagged concerns over the trend, saying the men in uniform had been approached online by people with fake profiles of Bollywood actresses.