new Delhi: Special Cell of Delhi Police (Special Cell) arrested 61-year-old Indian independent (freelance) journalist Rajiv Sharma for allegedly giving information to Chinese intelligence agency. During the search of Sharma’s house in Pitampura, New Delhi, a laptop, some confidential documents related to Indian defense and some other secret papers have been allegedly seized. Also Read – Freelance journalist arrested for giving secret information related to defense to Chinese intelligence agency
Special Cell DCP Sanjeev Yadav said, “During his police remand, a Chinese woman Qing Xi and his Nepali partner Sher Singh alias Raj Bohra have also been arrested.” Also Read – CBI files case against 6 companies for putting malware in people’s computers
The police claimed that they were paying a large amount to journalist Rajiv Sharma in exchange for giving sensitive information to the Chinese intelligence agency. Also Read – Court seeks response from Center on Rakul Preet’s plea to stop media reports
Journalist Rajeev Sharma further disclosed he was about to send / convey these recovered secret documents to his handlers. In past also, he sent several documents in the form of reports to his handlers & got handsome remuneration for the same: Deputy Commissioner of Police, Delhi
– ANI (@ANI) September 19, 2020
A few days ago, an input was received from an intelligence agency that Rajiv Sharma, a resident of St. Xavier’s apartment in Pitampura, New Delhi, has links with a foreign intelligence officer and is receiving money illegally and through his handler from the Western medium.
In this regard, a case was registered on September 13 under Section 3/4/5 of the Government Secrecy Act. Subsequently, Rajiv Sharma was arrested on 14 September and a warrant was obtained from the Delhi Police to search his residential premises.
Sanjeev Yadav said that after questioning, Rajiv Sharma has revealed his involvement in the purchase of secret and sensitive information. Sharma also briefed his Chinese handlers Michael and George based in Kunming, China, through separate digital channels. He further revealed that he was about to send the secret recovered documents to his operators.
Police said that even before this, Sharma had sent several documents to his operators in the form of reports and in return he had received a large amount. According to the police, during 2010-2014 he used to write a weekly column for ‘Global Times’, which is considered to be the mouthpiece of the Chinese government.
Michael, a Chinese intelligence agent from China, contacted Rajiv Sharma through his LinkedIn account and invited him to Kunming for an interview with a Chinese media company. The cost of this trip was borne by Michael. During the meeting, Michael and his junior Shou asked Rajiv Sharma to provide information on various aspects of India-China relations.
Between 2016 and 2018, Rajiv Sharma was in contact with Michael and Shou. He was tasked to provide information on issues including Indian deployment at the Bhutan-Sikkim-China tri-junction including Doklam, the pattern of Indo-Myanmar military cooperation, the India-China border issue. After this, Rajiv Sharma once held a meeting with Michael and Shau in Laos and Maldives and gave information on these topics. Apart from these visits, Sharma was also in contact with Michael and Shou through e-mail and social media.
According to Delhi Police, in January 2019, Rajiv Sharma came in contact with another Kunming based Chinese man George. He went to Kunming via Kathmandu and met George, who was introduced as the general manager of a Chinese media company. During the meeting, George asked Rajiv Sharma to write about the issues related to the Dalai Lama.
For this, Rajiv Sharma was offered US $ 500 per article. George told Sharma that he would send him the money through a company based in Mahipalpur, Delhi. Sharma received more than 30 lakh rupees from George in about 10 installments from January 2019 to September 2020. He further held meetings with George in Malaysia and then in Kunming.
During the investigation, it was revealed that shell companies were being operated by foreign intelligence agents to transfer funds to Sharma. Forensic analysis of seized mobile phones and laptops is being done to find out the entire network and conspiracy in this case. The identity and role of other foreign nationals involved in the conspiracy are also being ascertained.