Two Pakistani Intelligence Officers posted in Sri Lanka deputed two spies to get details of ‘Project Varsha’, India’s new naval base near Visakhapatnam, which will be home for its new fleet of nuclear submarines. They also asked the spies to attempt befriending and luring Indian Navy and Army officers to Colombo where “women and cash could be arranged“ to get information on defence matters, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has said in a explosive 43-page charge-sheet submitted in a court on March 6. The charge-sheet says one of the spies Thameem Ansari was asked by the Pakistani officers to pose as a film-maker making a documentary titled ‘Power of India’ on the Indian armed forces to befriend some Army and Navy officers.
The two Pakistani officers named in the chargesheet are Amir Zubair Siddiqui, Counselor (Visa) posted with the High Commission of Pakistan in Sri Lanka and Vineeth alias Rana, “a Pakistan Intelligence Officer“ also posted in Sri Lanka, says the NIA. “Project Varsha is a new naval base being developed for the Indian Navy. This base will be the home of the Navy’s new fleet of nuclear submarines and ships of the Indian Navy. Siddiqui had specifically instructed Ansari to get details about Visakhapatnam Naval Base and concentrate on Project Varsha for which he asked him to go to Visahkapatnam and hire an accommodation near Naval station,“ the charge-sheet says. Vineeth had further asked for Project Varsha details like “stage and depth of the channel“, the NIA says.
NIA further says Ansari was told to visit places which Naval officers frequent visit “hotels, bars, cinema theatres etc“ and asked to pose as a rich businessman to befriend them. “Siddiqui suggested that if Ansari was able to befriend ex-Army officers, Naval or Army officers, they could be brought to Col ombo, where he would arrange all kinds of facilities for them like women, cash and drinks for getting information of the defence details,“ the NIA says, not mentioning if Ansari was actually successful in doing so. The NIA does say Ansari and another spy, Arun Selvarajan -arrested in India in 2012 and 2014 respectively -recced and photogra-phed secret installations.
The NIA charge-sheet lists these places: “Wellington Military Training Centre and Defence Service Staff College, Station Head Quarters at Wellington, Karaikkal, Nagapattinam harbours including Naval detachment at Nagapattinam, Indian Naval base at Mallipattinam, Mallipattinam Fishing Jetty and Indian Air Force station at Thanjavur“. Selvarajan, on the pretext of an event manager, managed to visit the Officer’s Training Academy, Chennai, prepared its sketching also trespassed into the restricted place of the Chennai Port where the inauguration programme designed for installation of Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS) at Chennai port Trust on 06.07.2012, NIA says.
“He took classified photographs of VTMS Tower installed for the purpose of safe navigation of ships including Indian Naval and Coast Guard Ships,“ the NIA has said.
NIA further says Ansari befriended a retired Ar my officer who had earlier worked in Para regiment and ASC of Indian Army and got introduced to him formally in Granary Rotary club of Thanjavur. Ansari went to his home saying he was producing a movie `Power of India’ wherein he had to bring characters and places related to Armed forces and required Army photos and videos, NIA says.
Source: Economic Times dt 27.03.2015