CBI arrests journalist, ex-Navy commander for sharing sensitive defence info with foreign agencies
The Central Bureau of Investigation has arrested freelance scribe Vivek Raghuvanshi and ex-Navy commander Ashish Pathak for alleged clandestine procurement of sensitive defence-related information and sharing it with foreign intelligence agencies, officials said on Wednesday.
The Central Bureau of Investigation has arrested freelance scribe Vivek Raghuvanshi and ex-Navy commander Ashish Pathak for alleged clandestine procurement of sensitive defence-related information and sharing it with foreign intelligence agencies, officials said on Wednesday. According to the agency, Raghuvanshi and his kinsfolk purportedly received Rs 3 crore originating from foreign shores. Raghuvanshi and Pathak were presented before a special CBI court on Wednesday, which remanded them to the agency's custody for six days.
''It was also alleged that the accused (Raghuvanshi) and his associate (Pathak) who is presently working with a (private) firm, were in possession of classified secret document related to Indian defence establishments,'' a CBI spokesperson said on Wednesday. The CBI took over the probe from the Delhi Police's Special Cell, which had been tracking Raghuvanshi since September last year when it registered an FIR against him. The Special Cell had received input through intelligence that some Indian journalists were engaged in the procurement and transmission of such information to foreign intelligence agencies, which carried the potential to ''spoil'' relations with the country's friendly nations.
Based on the information procured by the Special Cell, it was posited that a journalist was surreptitiously amassing ''sensitive information'' regarding the ''future procurement of armed forces which reveal the strategic preparedness of our country's classified communications/information related to national security, and details of strategic and diplomatic talks of India with our friendly countries, which can spoil the bilateral relations of India with them...'' the FIR said.
They said the CBI took over the case at the home ministry's directions.
After meticulous groundwork and vigilant surveillance, the CBI conducted an extensive raid on Tuesday encompassing 15 locations in Delhi-NCR and Jaipur at the premises of Raghuvanshi and other suspects.
''The CBI has seized 48 electronic devices, including laptops, tablets, mobile phones, hard disks, and pen drives, belonging to the FIR named accused and others associated with the said accused, during the searches,'' the spokesperson said.
He said a number of incriminating documents relating to Indian defence establishments have also been seized.
''The data stored in cloud-based accounts/e-mails/social media accounts belonging to the accused/others have also been recovered by digital forensic experts of the CBI,'' he said.
''The scrutiny of devices recovered so far from the possession of the accused also revealed that the accused was allegedly collecting confidential information related to India's defence procurement from different sources. He was in contact with several foreign entities/agents/persons, and he had entered into contracts/agreements with several foreign entities for sharing of confidential information. It was also alleged that the accused and his family members had received a substantial amount from foreign sources,'' he said.
Raghuvanshi, who is listed as India correspondent of a US-based portal on defence and strategic affairs on its web site, was then taken into custody along with Pathak.
The agency has booked the accused under Section 3 (spying) of the Official Secrets Act and under Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)