Why honey trapping should top India’s internal security concerns this year
New Delhi, Jan 16: The arrest of an Indian Army jawan who was allegedly honey trapped revealed the extent of the might racket that the ISI has been running. Investigations even brought under the scanner 50 jawans who could have been honey trapped by the same lady, who went by the name Anika Chopra and posed as an Army Captain at the Military Nursing Corps.
The jawan, Somveer Singh who was posted with an armoured unit in Jaisalmer was taken into custody on the allegation that he had shared sensitive information and pictures of his location and army exercises with Anika.
While Singh is one part of the problem, the bigger issue that the Intelligence agencies point out is the number of similar cases that have emerged. Honey trapping has been an age old trick of any spy agency. However for India, the biggest problem today comes in the form of a Rs 3,500 crore annual budget that has been set aside by the ISI only to honey trap Indian soldiers.
It is clear that Pakistan has upped the ante ahead of the elections in India. It not only wants data and sensitive information, but also wants to embarrass the Indian government.
The honey trap wing of the ISI is being run from Faridkot. Since 2015, the ISI has earmarked a budget of nearly Rs 3,500 crore for this unit. This only goes on to show, how important the unit is for the ISI. After a trap is laid, the information is either elicited through blackmail or in the lure for cash.
The ISI agents, who set the trap pay anything between Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh for the information.
The amount would however depend on the rank of the officer. The higher the rank, higher the money.
IB officials tell OneIndia that the number of such cases is on the rise. The BrahMos incident was a major embarrassment and it has now been followed by the Anika Chopra episode. The agencies are now raising questions over whether the social media should be even allowed for those working in such sensitive locations and handling such jobs.
The Union Home Ministry was recently told by the Intelligence Agencies that in 2017, a fresh push was made by Pakistan to trap as many young recruits of the Indian Army. The traps were being set on those who had just joined the Army and as well as on those who were in the process of joining the forces. The Anika Chopra case is part of the same plan, IB officials say.
The ISI has been looking to trap as many as 200 such young recruits and recent investigations showed that the Pakistan agents were already in touch with over 50 of them. When the police had arrested Gaurav Kumar, a resident of Rohtak, they found that he was asked to click pictures, each time he visited the Army training camp. He had plans of joining the Indian Army and was training for the same. He had already been trapped before he could join the forces. It was found that he had visited 18 Army recruitment camps from where he is alleged to have shared a lot of information.
Not only do the operations run from Faridkot, but the ISI has also managed to set up dedicated modules within India to honey trap officials. There are modules in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, which exclusively report to the Faridkot.
The ISI agents first create a fake profile on the social media and then begin chatting. Once they find that the target is vulnerable, they lead him to the Hookup chat site. Over here the information is shared. The biggest problem that investigators face is that once a person logs out of Hookup, the chats are automatically deleted.
Officials tell OneIndia that the problem is likely to get worse in the coming months. The challenge ahead is huge. The official however adds that while the problem has been immense, the agencies have however managed to nip such incidents in the bud. It could have been much worse had it not been detected early, the official also added.