Friday, January 11, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Espionage racket busted
3 held with photographs of vital installations
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, January 10
The district police has busted a gang with the arrest of its three members, who were allegedly involved in corporate espionage of vital installations located in Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan by taking photographs on the basis of longitude and latitude dimensions.

Information gathered by this correspondent revealed that the suspects were roaming in various parts of this state in a white Tata Sumo with red light atop and fitted with global positioning system (GPS) and digital global positioning system (DGPS) and taking still photograph of vital installations.

The police personnel here received specific information in this regard. The vehicle was intercepted and GPS and DGPS machines, Laptop computer and hundreds of photographs of vital installation of four states were recovered from the suspects.

The modus-operandi of the suspects was that they were taking the photographs of the vital installations under the garb of making a survey for laying down the optical fibre cable (OFC) for telephones as sub-contractors of an Indian business house in collaboration with a multinational company.

Information revealed that the suspects had taken the photographs of vital bridges, roads, rail tracks, military stations, railway stations, telephone exchanges, post offices, protected and other monuments in Sirsa, Rohtak, Hansi, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Bawavar, Ratlam and Bathinda areas of Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab. Sources revealed that missiles could be targeted at specific points by feeding the GPS in their guide system.

The sources added that the suspects, who had been identified as Narpat Singh Rathore, Shanker Parker (both having an electronic engineering background) and driver Dashrath Singh Rathore, said they were working for an Indian-based company having its office in Maharashtra. The suspects, when confronted by the police authorities, could not give satisfactory reply as to why they were taking photographs of vital installations. The suspects did not have any documents or authorisation from the authorities concerned for taking photographs of the vital installations.

The sources added that though the police authorities had arrested the suspects they had not been produced in the court so far.

The sources said the suspects had been indulging in the espionage activities at the instance of a retired official of the armed forces, who has been identified as Bobby.

Dr Jatinder Kumar Jain, SSP, could not be contacted despite repeated efforts and when he was contacted on his mobile phone late in the evening, he switched it off after confirming that an FIR had been registered in this connection. A case under Sections 3 and 15 of the Official Secrets Act has been registered in this regard.Back

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