An Indian Air Force officer, who was taken into custody by the counter intelligence wing of the force for alleged involvement in espionage and leaking classified documents to Pakistan's ISI, has been charged under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) and handed over to the police, sources said.
Group Captain Arun Marwaha, 51, who was posted at the IAF headquarters in New Delhi, was suspected of leaking official documents on new fields of cyber warfare, space and special operations, according to NDTV. Marwaha was handed over to Delhi Police on Wednesday after nearly 10 days of questioning by the counter-intelligence wing of the force.
"The Delhi Police will now carry forward the probe. The officer has been slapped charges under Official Secrets Act," a source told PTI.
As per media reports, the IAF officer befriended an ISI agent on Facebook in mid-December, who posed as a model. The two chatted on Facebook for a while before exchanging numbers and communicating through WhatsApp, reported Deccan Chronicle. After a week of "flirtatious" conversation over WhatsApp, the woman reportedly lured the officer to leak classified documents through WhatsApp.
According to The Indian Express, Marwaha, who faces imprisonment up to seven years under the Officials Secrecy Act, confessed to leaking the documents. However, the report also added that Marwaha shared classified documents with two women.
"During questioning, he admitted that he had taken pictures of the classified documents, which were in his custody, on his cellphone. He also confessed that he had sent the pictures of the documents to the two women on WhatsApp and Telegram chats. His cellphone was recovered, and sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) of the CBI," the report quoted a senior police officer as saying.
The officer was caught red-handed with his cellphone, which is not permitted, at the IAF headquarters. Police officials said they are in regular contact with the Intelligence Bureau and Research and Analysis Wing.
The investigators from IAF's counter intelligence wing were also probing if he was part of a larger espionage ring being run from Pakistan, sources said. The officer was indulging in certain "unwanted activities" through unauthorised electronic devices which is against existing orders, sources had told PTI.
The IAF officially did not comment on the matter.
With inputs from PTI View More