Three Army and two Air Force officers were arrested and dishonourably discharged from service over the last three years after they were believed to have been spies for Pakistani intelligence operatives, the government told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
Defence minister Manohar Parrikar said the involvement of the arrested personnel with ISI has been “established” and one of them has been sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of 7 years.
The Army personnel arrested were not high-ranking officers and many of them have been “trapped” in doing so, Parrikar said, adding that the government is taking steps to ensure that more troops do not get brainwashed.
In a written reply, he said, “During the last three years and the current year, three serving Army Personnel have been arrested for alleged involvement in spying activities at the behest of Pakistan Intelligence Operatives.”
He added that “Such incidents of spying have existed in the past also” and service personnel are regularly educated on the modus operandi being adopted by the Pakistani Intelligence Operatives.
“Further, such spying activities are related to providing defence related information like Army deployment, movement and training exercises, appointment of senior officers, formation sign, tactical number etc,” the Defence Minister said.
He also said in case of the Army, the services of three personnel who were arrested have already been terminated while services of two personnel of Indian Air Force have been terminated.
When pointed out that earlier a minister has said that a total of 11 Army personnel were arrested for involvement with ISI, Parrikar said his reply is about serving Army officers.
He then informed that seven ex-servicemen had also been arrested on charges for spying.
He said while the Army has already terminated their services, cases have also been filed against them, which are undergoing in different courts. Parrikar assured the members that the government is following all procedures as per law in this matter.