An Indian Army Major, who was recently dismissed from service by the President in October, is alleged to have been in contact with a Pakistani intelligence operative via Facebook.
The dismissed officer, commissioned in the Regiment of Artillery in December 2012, served in various units and appointments during his 11-year tenure with the Army. His last posting was with a Strategic Forces Unit at a classified location in the first week of March 2021, where he attended the ‘Missile Foundation Course’ at the Strategic Force Command School.
The controversy unfolded in March 2022 when the Counter Intelligence Unit of Strategic Forces informed the major that he was found to be in contact with a Pakistani intelligence operative named ‘Aarushi Akash’ on Facebook. Intelligence officers confiscated the major’s two mobile phones, a laptop, and a hard drive for a thorough investigation.
Upon forensic digital examination of the seized devices, initial suspicions pointed towards the major being in contact with four to five Pakistani intelligence operatives. However, further questioning revealed that he was allegedly in touch with only one suspected Pakistani operative. In his defence, the major claimed ignorance about the true identity of the contact named ‘Aarushi Akash.’
The gravity of the situation prompted Military Intelligence to conduct a deeper inquiry into the officer’s activities, leading to his dismissal from service in October. The major has now filed an application with the Armed Forces Tribunal principal bench in New Delhi, seeking copies of the court of inquiries and board of officers held to investigate the allegations against him.