Indian police arrest a local journalist allegedly spying for China

Chinese woman partner ‘paid’ scribe for information

Freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma has been arrested by the Special Cell in a case under the Official Secrets Act and is being interrogated, Delhi Police said on Friday.

Three people, including a senior freelance journalist, have been arrested for spying for China, even as tensions simmer between the two nations. George told Rajeev Sharma that they will send him money through his company's sister concern based in Mahipalpur, Delhi being operated by a Chinese lady Qing. "Chinese intelligence tasked the journalist for conveying sensitive information in lieu of large amounts of money", the police said.

"Forensic analysis of seized mobile phones and laptops is being conducted to unearth the entire network and conspiracy in this case".

Sources said that Delhi Police got secret information about his involvement in the procurement of classified documents and hence he was arrested by the Special Cell under the Official Secrets Act. "He was found to be in possession of some classified defence-related documents".

Sharma was produced before the court on September 15, which sent him to six-day police custody.

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His bail plea is listed for September 22, the police informed. For this Rajeev Sharma was offered 500 United States dollars per article/ information.

Yadav explained how Sharma was allegedly recruited by the Chinese. From 2010 onwards he was writing for the Chinese media platform Global Times. Rajeev Sharma had further meetings with George in Malaysia and again in Kunming City, China. Sharma allegedly received more than Rs 30 Lakh from George in about 10 instalments between January 2019 and September 2020 for the information provided by him.

His piece in the Global Times titled, 'A rapprochement road map for Beijing and New Delhi benefits both countries, ' he had said that the steady deterioration of bilateral relations since the night of May 5, when the latest standoff began, has practically evaporated all the diplomatic gains of the past years in one stroke.

In the article, he had highlighted that the two countries "have been engaged in a risky military standoff... which could wreck their economies and many precious things if the situation is not amicably eased".

Sharply criticising the arrest the "well-known independent journalist of long standing", the Press Club of India (PCI) called the move "high-handed" and alleged that it "may be inspired by obscure or questionable considerations". This is on account of the dubious track record of the Special Branch. "More generally also, the record of Delhi Police is hardly a shining one", said the statement issued by PCI on Saturday.

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