Indian police arrest a local journalist alleging spying for China

Press Club of India Condemns Journalist's Arrest Under Official Secrets Act

Press Club of India Condemns Journalist's Arrest Under Official Secrets Act

The Delhi Police on Saturday said arrested freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma was passing sensitive information about India's border strategy and Army deployment to Chinese intelligence.

"Sharma had links with a foreign intelligence officer and was getting funds for passing on sensitive information". George told Rajeev Sharma that they will send him money through his company's sister concern based in Mahipalpur, Delhi being operated by a Chinese lady Qing.

After his arrest, the Delhi Police seized his laptop, his mobile phone and are scanning his call detail records to know with whom he was in contact. Sharma, a resident of Pitampura, has already been arrested by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police. He was found to be in possession of some defence-related classified documents. He was produced before the magistrate the next day, following which he was taken into police custody for six days.

His bail hearing will come up before the court on September 22, said the police. He further disclosed that he was about to send/ convey these recovered secret documents to his handlers. Observing those columns, one Chinese intelligence agent named Michael from Kunming city of China contacted Rajeev Sharma through his LINKEDIN account and invited him to Kunming China for an interview with a Chinese Media Company.

"For this Sharma was offered $500 per article/ information". He had recently written a piece fo the Chinese newspaper Global Times.

Delhi COVID-19 count rises to 2,34,701 with 4,432 new cases
Of the total 14,652 beds available for COVID-19 treatment in the city, 52.9% were vacant, as per government data on Thursday. The number of containment zones jumped to 1,670 on Thursday, the highest till now.

Yadav explained how Sharma was allegedly recruited by the Chinese. "Sharma received Rs 30 lakh from George in about 10 instalments from January 2019 to September 2020 in exchange for information provided by him", it said.

During interrogation, Yadav said Sharma confessed about his involvement in procurement of secret/sensitive information and conveying the same to his Chinese handlers, namely Michael and George, based in Kunming in China through digital channels. "The current crisis is the biggest threat to normal ties between the two sides since 1962", he wrote. "Their common objective must be to build a better and peaceful future for their people and not a military build-up against one another". There is no guarantee that everything will play out as per the script reached between the two countries. "More generally also, the record of Delhi Police is hardly a shining one", said the statement issued by PCI on Saturday.

Sharma is a journalist accredited with the Press Information Bureau (PIB).

It said he wrote "on strategic affairs and may well have accessed routinely over-classified information on the Internet that is in the public domain".

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