Indian police arrested a local journalist alleging spying for China

(File/AFP)
Short Url
Updated 19 September 2020

Indian police arrested a local journalist alleging spying for China

  • One Chinese woman and her Nepalese partner were also arrested for allegedly supplying Sharma with “huge amounts of money” for “conveying information to Chinese intelligence”
  • The arrest comes amid heightened tensions between India and China at their border in the Himalayan region

NEW DELHI: Police in India’s capital city on Saturday said they had arrested a local freelance journalist on allegations he was passing “sensitive information” to Chinese intelligence officers.
In a statement, the Delhi Police said 61-year-old Rajeev Sharma was arrested earlier this week and officers had seized some confidential documents related to the Indian defense department from the journalist’s residence.
One Chinese woman and her Nepalese partner were also arrested for allegedly supplying Sharma with “huge amounts of money” for “conveying information to Chinese intelligence.”
The Chinese foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside regular business hours.
Reuters could not immediately reach any of the three individuals, who are under arrest, or their lawyers.
“On interrogation, Rajeev Sharma has disclosed his involvement in procurement of secret/sensitive information and further conveying the same to his Chinese handlers,” Delhi’s Deputy Commissioner of Police Sanjeev Kumar Yadav said in the statement.
The arrest comes amid heightened tensions between India and China at their border in the Himalayan region. The relationship between the neighbors has worsened since a clash in June that India says of 20 of its troops were killed.
China suffered “far fewer” than the 20 deaths incurred by India’s military in the clash, according to a tweet this week by the editor-in-chief of the Global Times, which is published by the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party.
The police said Sharma was tasked with providing information on India-China boundary issues and other matters in recent years.
It added that between January 2019 and September 2020, Sharma received more than 3 million Indian rupees ($40,799.67) from one of his handlers.
India has in recent months banned several Chinese apps and made it tougher for Chinese companies to make investments.


Missing Pakistani TV reporter is found after 72 hours

Updated 24 October 2020

Missing Pakistani TV reporter is found after 72 hours

  • Geo's bureau chief in Karachi said Ali Imran Syed had contacted his wife to say that he had reached his mother’s home
  • Earlier police registered the journalist’s disappearance as an “abduction” case without naming suspects

ISLAMABAD: A reporter working for Pakistan’s leading Geo News television who had gone missing in the southern port city of Karachi has been found, family and colleague said Saturday.
Geo bureau chief in Karachi, Fahim Siddiqi, said Ali Imran Syed had contacted his wife by phone to say that he had reached his mother’s home.
Earlier police registered the journalist’s disappearance as an “abduction” case without naming suspects.
The reporter left home late Friday evening telling his wife that he would be back in half an hour before disappearing for 72 hours.
Recently there have been several cases of Pakistani journalists being detained or abducted for several hours, before being released.
Azhar Abbas, head of the Geo TV, earlier said he has contacted provincial and federal authorities “to help trace the missing reporter” and “ensure his safety.”
Siddiqi said the reporter’s abduction may have been related to his work on recent political events, including the arrest of an opposition leader who is the son-in-law of former premier Nawaz Sharif.
Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said in a tweet no one should “disappear in a democracy”.
Pakistani media has been facing renewed pressure from state agencies that have sought to control the topics covered by the media and even restrict the selection of guests for TV talk shows.
Journalists and press freedom advocates often accuse the Pakistani military and security agencies of pressuring media outlets to prevent critical coverage.
In December last year, a Karachi based reporter with the Express Tribune newspaper, Bilal Farooqi, was arrested on charges of spreading hateful content against the country’s military on social media.
In July, Matiullah Jan was briefly detained. Jan is known for criticism of Pakistan’s military and security agencies.