Delhi-based journalist keeping ‘defence-related’ papers held for espionage

Rajiv Sharma ran a YouTube channel with 11,900 subscribers, wrote for China’s mouthpiece Global Times

Journalist Rajeev Sharma
Rajeev Sharma is a resident of Pitampura, and was arrested by the southwestern range of Special Cell of the Delhi Police. Photo: Twitter

A Delhi-based strategic affairs analyst, who is also an author, has been arrested under the Official Secrets Act (OSA). Delhi Police’s Special Cell has alleged that Rajeev Sharma was found in possession of defence-related classified documents.

Sharma recently wrote a piece for the Chinese newspaper Global Times, and was arrested on September 14, sources said.

Besides, Delhi Police have also arrested a Chinese woman and her Nepalese associate who were allegedly paying Sharma for passing sensitive information to the Chinese intelligence, according to NDTV.

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Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Sanjeev Kumar Yadav said that Sharma is a resident of Pitampura, and was arrested by the southwestern range of Special Cell of the Delhi Police. He was produced before the magistrate the next day, following which he was taken into police custody for six days. “Investigation in the case is in progress,” Kumar said.

Sharma runs a YouTube channel called ‘Rajeev Kishkindha’, which has 11,900 subscribers. On the day of his arrest, he uploaded two videos. One of them is an eight-minute video titled ‘China may still do mischief #IndiaChinaFaceOff’, in which he says, “Despite an agreement… reached between the foreign ministers of India and China, the road to peace is still heavily mined. There is still no guarantee that everything will play out as per the script reached between the two foreign ministers in Moscow.”

The other four-minute video in Hindi comments on the state of the media, which he tweeted with the caption, “The state of Indian media today is pathetic. It was supposed to be a watchdog. Instead it has become a lapdog of the government.”

Related news: Tedious India-China standoff may hide more than it reveals

Late on Friday night, Sharma’s Twitter account, which has over 5,300 followers, showed the message: “Caution: This account is temporarily restricted. You’re seeing this warning because there has been some unusual activity from this account.”

On September 7, Sharma wrote a piece for Global Times, titled ‘A rapprochement road map for Beijing and New Delhi benefits both countries’, in which he said, “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. The current crisis is the biggest threat to normal ties between the two sides since 1962. It’s a lose-lose situation for both. Their common objective must be to build a better and peaceful future for their peoples and not a military buildup against one another.”

As per Sharma’s LinkedIn account, he has written many books. Sharma had last year said that they had been alerted about their phones being targeted for surveillance through an Israeli spyware.

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