CBI raids 19 places
New Delhi, June 23
The CBI, which conducted the first raid in the naval war room leak case on April 6 this year, today conducted raids in 19 places — 15 places in Delhi, two in Kolkata and One each in Visakhapatnam and Bhubaneshwar.
Of the 14 persons, whose premises were searched today, Six are serving officers from the Indian Navy, two are serving Army officers, one is a recently retired Naval officer, three are civilian officers serving in the Ministry of Defence besides two private persons.
“The searches were carried out primarily to collect all available evidence based on the leads provided by the investigation so far. During the searches today incriminating documents have been recovered and a larger conspiracy has been unearthed,” a CBI spokesperson said.
“Ongoing investigations by CBI indicate that apart from the leak of information from the Naval War Room and Air Defence Directorate by the compromised officials in conspiracy with the recipients of the leaked classified information, there was also, prima facie, a larger ring of officials in various wings of the armed forces and the Ministry of Defence who were giving sensitive information to the accused persons in exchange for gratification,” he said adding that “investigations have revealed that one of the private persons (Abhishek Verma) being searched today is a very close associate of the two recipients of classified information.”
The CBI registered a case in connection with the Naval war room leak on March 20 and carried out nationwide searches on April Six, after which the agency arrested six people.
The Navy sacked three officials in October last year for the leak of information related to proposed purchases from its war room or Directorate of Naval Operations.
Acting on a request from the CBI, the Interpol has issued a Red Corner notice against former Naval Commander Ravi Shankaran, a relative of the Navy chief Admiral Arun Prakash, for his alleged links to those involved in the war room leak. Shankaran has also been declared a proclaimed offender.
CBI sources claimed that former Naval Commander Kulbushan Parashar, who has been arrested by the agency, had told sleuths that he had been supplying sophisticated computers, mobile phones and pen drives to some Navy and Army officials besides providing them other illegal gratification.
The sources said the FIR was registered on the basis of information from the Defence Ministry that three officers of the Navy and an officer of the Air Force had "acted in collusion with private persons and retired military officers to conspire to unauthorisedly procure classified documents or information relating to the Ministry, the disclosure of which is likely to affect the sovereignty and integrity of the country".
The Defence Ministry asked the CBI on February 18 to probe the leak from the Naval Headquarters.
Besides Parashar, the CBI has arrested former IAF official Sambhajee L Surve, Raj Rani Jaiswal, a woman allegedly used as a honey trap, businessman Mukesh Bajaj, former Naval officer V K Jha and sacked Navy commander Vinod Rana.