Jhansi SDM office leak: ATS to launch drive to help protect sensitive info | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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Jhansi SDM office leak: ATS to launch drive to help protect sensitive info

The move comes soon after the leak of top secret information about the army from the SDM Sadar office in Jhansi came to light.

lucknow Updated: Aug 09, 2017 15:14 IST
HT Correspondent
The UP Anti Terror Squad (ATS) plans to launch a sensitisation drive for government officials and employees
The UP Anti Terror Squad (ATS) plans to launch a sensitisation drive for government officials and employees

The UP Anti Terror Squad (ATS) plans to launch a sensitisation drive for government officials and employees for maintaining the secrecy of army and other important documents related to national security.

The move comes soon after the leak of top secret information about the army from the SDM Sadar office in Jhansi came to light.

The ATS is recommending an advisory to UP director general of police (DGP) Sulkhan Singh on the issue. The advisory will also contain a suggestion related to the sensitisation programme in order to make government officials and employees aware of the Official Secrets Act.

Inspector general (IG), ATS, Asim Arun said: “The advisory will contain multiple points, including cross-checking the genuineness of a person before sharing sensitive information.”

He said the advisory was being recommended after the recent Jhansi episode, adding that the SDM Sadar office stenographer in Jhansi unknowingly shared secret information with Pakistani agents, who posed as senior army officers and interacted with him through internet telephony or call-spoofing applications.

Arun said although Raghavendra Ahirwar, the stenographer, was not arrested, an FIR was registered under sections 3/4/5/9 of the Official Secrets Act (1923). Further legal proceedings will be initiated against him. He said earlier too ISI agents collected secret information from their moles in government offices.

“Officers should remain alert and ensure that responsible employees are posted to sensitive positions,” he said.

Earlier, in February this year, a racket in which Pak agents were ferreting out sensitive information from government officials was unearthed after a Military Intelligence (MI) team alerted the UP ATS that some army jawans posted in the western sector received suspicious calls on their mobiles from different local numbers.

The MI probe had revealed that majority of calls were made from Lucknow, Sitapur and Hardoi. It was discovered later that though calls were made from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Dubai, and local numbers were displayed on the mobile phone screens of the receivers.

Those involved in the racket used a unique technique for the purpose, using the internet and SIM box to run illegal call centres for tele-conferencing.

Read more: Army secret info leaked? UP ATS begins probe

He said they purchased SIM cards on the basis of fake identity proofs and installed them in the SIM boxes. Then mobile apps and servers available in foreign countries were used to transfer the call from the internet to SIM boxes that helped in displaying local numbers on the mobile phone of the receiver although the call was made from abroad.

SDM SUMMONED

An SDM posted in east UP has been summoned by the ATS for interrogation in the Jhansi case.

IG, ATS, Asim Arun said the same SDM was posted in Jhansi when the stenographer Raghvendra Ahirwar started sharing details with Pakistani agents in 2009. He said Ahirwar began sharing the details when the then SDM asked him to do so after getting a call.

The SDM had been summoned to answer why he had told Ahirwar to share information.

Arun said notices will be sent to other SDMs too, as Ahirwar claimed that he had informed them about the information sharing but none of them had objected. “Rather, Ahirwar has claimed, they asked him to continue the practice as it was done earlier.”

Ahirwar had shared information about army’s firing and shelling practice at the Babina field firing range near Jhansi. The army used to inform the district magistrate about it and a copy of the relevant letter was sent to the SDM, Sadar. The copy was maintained by Ahirwar.