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Journalist arrested for leaking India's border strategy to China

Indian journalist allegedly sold sensitive information to Chinese intelligence

Rajeev Sharma and his two accomplices. (Twitter, Aditya Raj Kaul photo)

Rajeev Sharma and his two accomplices. (Twitter, Aditya Raj Kaul photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A senior journalist based in India's capital New Delhi was arrested this week after allegedly selling information about India's border strategy and military deployments to China for several years.

Delhi Police said Saturday (Sept. 19) that Rajeev Sharma, a 61-year-old freelance journalist who had written several articles for China's state-owned newspaper, Global Times, was arrested for passing defense-related and classified documents to Chinese intelligence. They said a Chinese woman and her Nepalese associate were also arrested for allegedly supplying Sharma with "huge amounts of money" in exchange for the sensitive information.

Police said Sharma was contacted by Chinese intelligence in 2016 and tasked with providing information on troop deployments at the Bhutan-India border, India-Myanmar military cooperation, the Dalai Lama, and details about India's strategy for its boundary issues with China. Police said he was paid around US$500 for each assignment and had received more than US$40,800 since 2019.

Police said Sharma met up with his Chinese handlers, "Michael" and "Xou" (徐) in China, Laos, and the Maldives after they contacted him through his LinkedIn account. They said the three also communicated through e-mail and social media, reported the Hindustan Times.

Deputy Commissioner of the Delhi Police, Sanjeev Yadav, said Sharma had disclosed his involvement in the secret information exchange after being interrogated. He added that sensitive documents had been recovered from his possession, according to Deutsche Welle.

Sharma was arrested Monday (Sept. 14) and held in police custody for six days. He has filed for a bail application that will be heard on Sept. 22, according to Liberty Times.