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3 ex-Navy officers held
CBI raids 17 places in war-room leak case
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 6
In a swift operation last night, the CBI arrested five persons, including three former Naval officers, in connection with the sensational Navy war room leak case and conducted simultaneous raids at 17 places, including on premises of Ravi Shankaran, a kin of Navy Chief Admiral Arun Prakash.

The CBI, which had registered a case in a designated court here recently, arrested Kulbhushan Parashar, a retired Navy Officer, upon his arrival from London at Indira Gandhi International Airport late last night. Two other former Navy officers, V K Jha and Vinod Rana, were arrested from Muzaffarpur in Bihar and Dwarka in Delhi, respectively.

Two more persons, Mukesh Bajaj and Raj Jaiswal, who are alleged to have been involved in the case, were arrested from Pune this afternoon, CBI spokesperson G Mohanty told newspersons here today.

Parashar and Rana were produced before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Seema Maini at her residence, who remanded them in 14 days of CBI custody. Jha was being brought here after his transit remand was obtained from a court in Muzzafarpur, he said.

Others, who are named by the CBI in the war room leak case, registered recently, included Kulbushan Parashar, Wing Cdr (retd) S K Kohli and Wing Cdr (retd) S Surbe.

Following the arrests, the CBI conducted simultaneous raids at 17 places in Delhi, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Goa and Muzzafarpur, primarily at the residences of all accused persons. The investigating agency also searched the offices of a chartered accountant at Mumbai as well as the factory premises of a private company at Mumbai and Goa belonging to one of the accused.

The CBI had registered the case in connection with the leakage of classified documents/information under the Official Secrets Act after the Defence Ministry had handed over investigations to it.

The Defence Ministry had asked the CBI on February 18 to probe the leaks from the Naval headquarters, which had led to the sacking of three senior Navy officials.

The government had referred the case after reports suggested that the leaks pertained to a high-profile defence deal. The Navy had constituted a board of inquiry after intelligence officers had recovered a pen drive from senior Air Force officer Wing Commander S L Surve in December which allegedly contained classified Naval information.

After two months of inquiry, the board found three senior officers-Capt Kashyap Kumar (former Director of Naval Operations), Commander V Rana and V K Jha guilty and they were dismissed from service.

The CBI has now asked the other accused persons and witnesses having knowledge of the crime to join the investigation, the agency spokesperson said.

Asked whether the accused in the war room leak case could also be involved in the Scorpene deal scam, he merely said, “The investigation into the war room leak case is still on.”


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