A former Army soldier, Saurabh Sharma, was booked and arrested by Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in Hapur district for passing sensitive military information to a Pakistani intelligence agency, police said.
Sharma was working as a signalman in the Army and was working for Karachi based Pakistani intelligence agency since 2016 in lieu of money.
He was passing information to the handler in form of text, images and video and also on phone calls, mostly using instant messaging application WhatsApp whose messages are end-to-end encrypted, according to Uttar Pradesh Additional Director General of Police (Law & Order) Prashant Kumar.
Sharma was discharged from the service in June last year on medical grounds.
Military, police worked in tandem
In November last year, officers at Lucknow based Military Intelligence received inputs about the possible involvement of the soldier in espionage activities. They developed the inputs as "Operation Cross-Connection" and shared details with the Uttar Pradesh ATS in early December.
The military intelligence and the Uttar Pradesh ATS then initiated a joint investigation, leading to his eventual arrest on Friday, January 8.
Sharma confesses crime
On being questioned, Sharma, a native of Bihuni village of Hapur district, confessed to the crime and revealed that he came in touch with a person on Facebook, who introduced herself as a defence journalist in 2014.
He started sharing sensitive information related to the military with his handler in 2016 in exchange for money, he accepted. Sharma received the money in his accounts on several counts, the police said.
"ATS had received inputs that an ex-serviceman, Saurav Sharma - a resident of Hapur - is sending sensitive information to Pakistani intelligence agencies. He has been arrested and has confessed to committing the crime. Some documents have been recovered from his possession," said UP ADG of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar.
Kumar further said that a was registered against Sharma. "He was produced before a court which has sent him to police custody for seven days," he said.