Special NIA court convicts Sri Lankan for espionage at Pak behest

Chennai, Mar 15 (PTI) A special NIA court has jailed a Sri Lankan national for five years and fined Rs 20,000 after convicting him for spying on Indian defence installations at the behest of Pakistan intelligence officers as part of a conspiracy to carry out terrorist attacks in the country.

Arun Selvarajan has been convicted for all charges against him including the IPC, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention)Act, the Official Secrets Act, the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, the Foreigners Act besides the Passport Act, an NIA spokesperson said.

In September 2012, Thameem Ansari, a native of Tamil Nadu's Thanjavur district, was arrested for conducting espionage at the behest of Pakistan intelligence officers led by Amir Zubair Siddique, who was posted at the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo, as part of a conspiracy to carry out terrorist acts in India, the official said.

A case was registered on September 17, 2012 at Q Branch Police Station in Tamil Nadu's Trichy city under sections of the Official Secrets Act read with section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the agency said.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) re-registered the case on May 1, 2013 and took over the investigation.

Later, Sri Lankan national Selvarajan was arrested in the case on September 10, 2014 for engaging in similar espionage activities at the behest of Pakistan Intelligence officers, it said.

Ansari and Selvarajan, pursuant to the conspiracy hatched with Pakistan intelligence officers, had conducted espionage at various defence establishments and sensitive locations in Tamil Nadu besides transmitted classified information to Siddique, thereby threatening the sovereignty and security of India, the NIA said.

On March 6, 2015, a charge sheet was field against Ansari and Selvarajan under sections of the IPC, the UA(P)Act and the Official Secrets Act. Selvarajan was also charged with sections of the NDPS Act.

A supplementary charge sheet was filed against Selvarajan on March 30, 2016 under sections of the Foreigners Act besides Passport Act.

Charges were framed against Ansari and Selvarajan in January 2018. Selvarajan has been convicted for all the charges against him. However, trial against Ansari continues, the NIA said.

Investigation is continuing against the absconding accused Mohammed Anver Mohammed Siraj Ali, a native of Sri Lanka besides the Pakistan intelligence officer Siddique and others, the NIA added. PTI CPS SKL CK