New Delhi: The recent arrest of an Army jawan named Ganesh Prasad, posted in Pune, on a tip-off provided by Army Intelligence, on charges of spying for Pakistan, has brought to the fore the issue of honey-trapping by Pakistani intelligence agencies that are working overtime to corner India and are trying to get sensitive information about India’s security apparatus. Since the last few years, Indian security agencies are working hard to crack different cases of luring by Pakistani and Chinese agencies. Sources tell The Sunday Guardian that the counter intelligence wing of various Indian security agencies are keeping many social media accounts belonging to Indian government employees, mostly the Army, under surveillance and also fake Pakistani accounts that are used to trap them.
An official privy to the developments told The Sunday Guardian, “Every year, around 40,000 youths join the Indian Army, Navy or Air Force at the average age of 19 years. They are very young and don’t have any idea about the sensitivity of the job. They become vulnerable targets of the enemy which tries to trap them and extract sensitive information about the deployment and vital installations of the Indian security apparatus. I have been told that the Indian security agencies have identified about 100 accounts operated by the Pakistani and Chinese agencies and put their activities under intensive and extensive observation. Pakistani agencies get funds from their Chinese counterparts to provide sensitive information about Indian deployments and vital security installations.”
In a written reply to Indian Parliament in March 2018, the then Minister of State for Defence (MoS), Subhash Bhamre, said that between 2015 and 2018, five cases of honey-trapping had been detected by the security agencies and they had shortlisted 300 fake Facebook accounts that were being used to trap Indian Army and security personnel.
In this particular episode, the Army jawan, Ganesh was in touch with a Pakistan Navy doctor for two years. He was honey-trapped two years ago when he was posted in Jodhpur and agencies believe that he had passed many important pieces of information to her on the deployment of the Indian Army. Army Intelligence kept his social media accounts on Facebook and WhatsApp under constant surveillance before his arrest.
In 2019, Indian Army directed its personnel not to join any social media app like WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram as they could be used by the enemy agencies to honey-trap them and extract sensitive information which would harm national security.
Another official working with an Indian agency said, “Fake photos of Bollywood actresses and stars are used by the ISI and other agencies of Pakistan to track vulnerable Indian soldiers. They identify them and after some time, ask them to provide vital information. There are instances when jawans were provided with expensive phones to scan documents and click photos and send them to Pakistani agencies. Money in general is not the driving force here, but something else which we all know. But rest assured, we are also working overtime to counter this propaganda of the enemy. Our counter intelligence wing and agencies have trapped their men and personnel in this game.”