Punjab man passed information to Pakistan's ISI via WhatsApp; arrested
A 28-year-old man has been arrested from Faridkot in Punjab, for allegedly spying for the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan, the police said on Sunday. The man, identified as Sukhwinder Singh Sidhu, has been accused of passing secret military information off to ISI via WhatsApp. The Punjab police have reportedly recovered incriminating documents from his possession. Here are more details.
Sidhu roamed around military area; noted army movements
Sidhu, hailing from Dharamkot, Moga, was reportedly staying at a rented accommodation in a residential colony close to Faridkot's cantonment area. Further, sources said that Sidhu, alias Sukha, moved to Faridkot four months ago and would roam around the military area in a white Maruti car to note movements of the army. He would then pass on the information to his handlers in Pakistan.
Sidhu got in touch with Pakistani handlers in 2015
Senior police officer Yadwinder Singh told NDTV, "Sukhwinder had gone on pilgrimage to Pakistan in November 2015 to mark Guru Nanak's birth anniversary. He got in touch with three Pakistani nationals, after which he began sending secret military information to them through WhatsApp." Sidhu provided his Pakistan-based intelligence operatives with information regarding arms, the location of army units, and sensitive military documents.
Sidhu was promised a shop of his own in return
He reportedly worked as a typist in local district courts in Amritsar and Dharmakot earlier. Sidhu, who was married some time back and had a few-months-old child, was promised a shop of his own by his Pakistani handlers, TNIE reported.
He was picked-up from Faridkot on Saturday
Reportedly, Indian intelligence sleuths worked on a tip-off and investigated Sidhu. "Intelligence sleuths, who had been keeping an eye on Singh for long, picked him up yesterday from Faridkot and after his detailed interrogation he was handed over to the Punjab Police," an official said. His handlers have been identified as Javid Malik and Ali Raja in Lahore.
Sidhu sent to five-day police remand
According to The Tribune, the police registered a case under Sections 3, 4 and 5 of the Official Secrets Act and an investigation is on. Sidhu was produced in local courts and was sent to five-day police remand by duty magistrate Suresh Kumar.
Many alleged spies have been arrested in recent past
Notably, this is not the first such case. In March, Rajasthan police arrested a Delhi man, Mohammed Parvez (42), for honey-trapping Indian Army soldiers to attain confidential information for Pakistan's ISI. Parvez's arrest came a few days after one Nawab Khan (36) was held near Indo-Pak border by Rajasthan police for alleged espionage.