BSF jawan ‘honey-trapped’ by ISI held on spying charge
A Border Security Force (BSF) jawan, alleged to have been “honey-trapped” by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) over Facebook, has been arrested from Noida on charges of spying by Uttar Pradesh’s anti-terror squad (ATS), state director general of police (DGP) OP Singh said Wednesday.
Achyutanand Mishra, posted at the composite hospital of BSF in Delhi, befriended a person, believed to be a woman, who was using a fake Facebook ID and who had posed as a defence reporter working since January 2016. Her mobile number, registered in Pakistan, was saved on his phone as ‘Pakistani dost’ (Pakistan-based friend), Singh said.
Singh told the media that preliminary investigations revealed Mishra shared crucial information about the armed forces and the movement of troops with the ‘woman’. He also used to chat with her over WhatsApp.
“The jawan shared the unit’s location, details of armoury, photographs and videos of BSF premises and information about the training academy in Tekanpur, Madhya Pradesh, with her. We have extracted details from his Facebook profile and mobile phone, which proves that he had been sharing information since January 2016,” Singh said.
Mishra, who hails from Rewa in Madhya Pradesh and was inducted into the BSF in 2006, has been booked on charges of sedition and leaking secret information to ISI, the DGP said, adding there is enough evidence to prove that he has committed crime under the Official Secrets Act.
“Mishra sent his photos to the woman in full uniform which itself is not allowed. The Facebook profile accessed by Mishra had around 2,000 followers. Formal proceedings will be launched against him in due course,” said a senior BSF official in Delhi.
The UP DGP said the ISI had been using fake Facebook IDs to trap armed forces personnel.
“He (Mishra) said the Facebook user had introduced herself as a defence reporter and talked to him for hours,” Singh said, adding that Mishra appeared to have had some “intimate conversations” with the woman.
The DGP said the jawan was aware he was chatting with a Pakistan-based woman on WhatsApp but he was trapped to such an extent that he did not realise his act could pose a threat to the country’s internal security.
Singh said the jawan has confessed the woman tried to motivate him to carry out activities against his country and extract information from him. Mishra is married and has two children.
Inspector general (IG) of police, UP ATS, Asim Arun, said the jawan, who was arrested on an intelligence tip-off, would be questioned further about the involvement of others in the spy network and the information he had allegedly shared with the ISI.
“We will analyse what dent has been caused to BSF operations by the leaked information. We will also find out if money or any other benefit was offered to Mishra.”
He said the BSF and other forces would be alerted about the honey traps being laid by the ISI.
“The personnel of armed forces will be asked to remain alert about such traps on social media and not to get involved into any official or personal chat with unknown users,” he said.