New Delhi: In a major embarrassment, a lieutenant colonel from the Indian Army was reportedly caught in a ”honey trap” by Pakistani intelligence agencies that forced him to spy for them against Indian interests, sources in the army headquarters said here Tuesday.
The officer, from an infantry unit, is now facing a court of inquiry to ascertain if he passed on any sensitive information on the Indian Army’s deployments and plans, the sources said. The officer was in Bangladesh this summer to attend a course at one of their military academies when he was trapped by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), sources said.
He allegedly developed an intimate relationship with a women, who was acting at the behest of Pakistan, after meeting her at a party in Dhaka, they added. Unable to bear the pressure from ISI, which had reportedly videotaped him with the woman, the officer opened up about his unenviable position with the Indian High Commission authorities in Dhaka.
Following this, he was immediately packed off to India sometime between September and October this year, sources said. The officer was in Dhaka for a couple of months within which he fell in the honey trap, sources said.
On his return to India, the Indian Army interrogated him to ascertain if he had passed on any Indian Army deployments and plans to Pakistan’s ISI. Recently, they initiated the court of inquiry against him to arrive at a conclusion on how to punish him for his commissions and omissions during his Dhaka stint, they added.
This is the second incident of an Indian military officer falling prey to a “honey trap” in the recent years. In 2009, Indian Navy’s Commodore Sukhjinder Singh was caught in a ‘honey trap’ scandal involving him and a Russian woman, after his photographs taken in a compromising position with her came out in the open.
He was the Indian Navy’s pointsman in Moscow between 2005 and 2008 to oversee the refit and repair of Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier that India had bought from Russia in 2004. After the Russians pressed for increasing the Indian payment of $974 million made in 2004 twice to $2.9 billion by 2009, India finally had to agree to pay $2.4 billion in February 2010.
Even as the Russians, beginning 2007, made demands for hiking the price of the warship that India plans to rechristen INS Vikramaditya, the commodore was well entrenched in the honey trap. This had led to suspicion that this involvement of the Indian Navy’s pointsman in the trap had emboldened the Russians to jack up the cost of the repair and refit of the warship progressing at the Sevmash shipyard in Russia.
Following the photographs coming out in the open, the navy held a court martial that found him guilty. He was sacked and discharged from service without pension benefits for his indiscretion.