- Sukhwinder Singh Sidhu had been staying in Faridkot for some time
- He allegedly came into contact with ISI agents during a visit to Pakistan
- This is latest in a series of arrests involving people caught spying
A man has been arrested in Punjab's Faridkot on charges of passing secret military information to Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI, police said on Sunday. Incriminating documents have been recovered from his possession, they added.
A senior police officer told NDTV that Sukhwinder Singh Sidhu, a resident of Moga district, had been staying in Faridkot for some time now. He allegedly came into contact with agents from the neighbouring country during a visit several years ago.
"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," the officer, Yadwinder Singh, said. The accused was arrested from the vicinity of an army installation by the state police's intelligence department, he added.
This is only the latest in a series of arrests involving people caught spying on military installations on behalf of the ISI. In March, the Rajasthan police had arrested a 42-year-old man from Delhi on similar charges.
According to police, the accused -- Mohammed Parvez -- would allegedly honey-trap Indian Army soldiers using fake identities to collect confidential and strategic information before passing them on to the ISI for a fee. During questioning, he reportedly confessed to travelling to Pakistan "17 times in the last 18 years" to get in touch with ISI handlers.
A few days later, a 36-year-old man was detained near the India-Pakistan border of Rajasthan's Jaisalmer on suspicion of spying. According to police, the accused - Nawab Khan - had also come into contact with ISI agents during a trip to Pakistan.
Earlier this month, the army intelligence had issued an advisory on a suspected Pakistani agent who was believed to be honey-trapping officers as well as special forces troops into giving up sensitive information. The advisory issued by the Directorate of Military Intelligence featured a now-defunct Instagram profile, 'Oyesomya', along with a picture of the "spy".
In January, a soldier was arrested in Jaisalmer after he allegedly passed on information to operatives of Pakistan spy agency ISI after being honey-trapped on social media. According to sources, Sombir used to regularly chat with an ISI operative under the fictitious name "Anika Chopra". The soldier, however, was not senior enough to have access to any sensitive data.