** In early 2022, the police had arrested Rohtak’s Gaurav Kumar, who had been asked to click pictures each time he visited an army training camp. Police said that Gaurav, preparing for a career in the military, had visited 18 army recruitment camps from where he is supposed to have passed on a lot of information, including pictorial evidence.
** In picked up Jaswinder Singh over his alleged links to a Pakistani spy, a woman who had endeared herself to him, speaking in fine Punjabi, identifying herself as Jasleen Brar from Bathinda. Jaswinder has been charged with providing information hookup now Killeen about the movement of Indian Army units in Punjab, which is a regular affair in the sensitive border state.
** In January last year, the Rajasthan CID detained the husband of a former sarpanch, identified as Satyanarayan Paliwal, who was reportedly honey-trapped by the ISI. He confessed to having shared confidential documents on social media with a certain “Sujata”, who had vanished after a romantic interlude, presumably after her assignment was deemed complete.
** Earlier, in , the Indian Army identified 150 profiles being used by Pakistan to honey trap Indian Army officers. The increasing frequency of such incidents led the government to ask soldiers to remove Facebook, Instagram and 87 other apps from their phones.
** Operation Dolphin Nose is an ongoing investigation by the Indian Navy to track down its personnel being honey-trapped. In , seven Indian Navy sailors were arrested under Operation Dolphin Nose for leaking sensitive information regarding the Navy to Pakistan. In , three more navy personnel were held for spying.
The modus operandi is far from complicated. All it takes is for an “attractive” woman to make phone calls to people whom they wish to hook – behind the mobile phone call or Facebook friend request, it is difficult to say whether the one seeking association is 20 or 40. The arrival of WhatsApp has made the availability of phone numbers easy.
Rendezvous are fixed and money promised
In the army, sleuths found out that these women were “liking” posts by soldiers, then moving to a romantic dalliance before making their “requests”.
Obviously, in this time and age of modern communications and social media, it is important that the lower ranks of the defence forces, who are the most obvious targets of potential spies, be reoriented and modernized
According to a senior intelligence bureau official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, counter-intelligence spooks need to reorient their training programme. “New recruits must be constantly told to be on their guard. It is done during training, but over a period, personnel – particularly those who are young, posted at remote locations and lonely – tend to get carried away,” he said.
In 2018, Nishant Agrawal, an engineer employed with BrahMos Aerospace, ended up revealing crucial details about India’s supersonic cruise missile, BrahMos. During the probe, the Uttar Pradesh Police came across three fake Facebook IDs, where the internet protocol (IP) addresses were traced to Islamabad. Two of these Pakistan-based accounts were run under the names “Pooja Ranjan” and “Neha Sharma”. The accused continues to languish in the Nagpur Central Jail.
Surprisingly, defence psychology is a relatively new discipline in India, despite establishment in 1943 of The War Selection Officer Board in Dehradun, for the psychological procedure of selection.
Three military psychologists – Swati Mukherjee, Updesh Kumar, and Manas K. Mandal of the Delhi-based Defence Institute of Psychological Research, in a paper titled “Status of Military Psychology in India: A Review” – admit that the selection process of Other Ranks (ORs or p.