September 2004 News

J-K Scribe Held For Passing Defence Data To Pakistan

18 September 2004
The Indian Express

New Delhi: A Photo-Journalist, working for a local newspaper in Srinagar, has been arrested on charges of passing sensitive Defence-related information to Pakistan. According to sources, Sahil Mohammad Maqbool Khokhar, working with Urdu newspaper Chattan, had in his possession, classified and sensitive material relating to Defence establishments. These included aerial pictures of Army camps taken from Army helicopters. The Army headquarters in the Capital was examining the documents and photographs to assess their sensitivity, and the extent of damage done by Khokhar. South Block was looking into how the photographer got access to Army choppers to take the pictures, and other classified documents. Involvement of some Army personnel in the matter had not been ruled out. According to a report prepared by the Jammu and Kashmir police and sent to the Intelligence Bureau, Khokhar had admitted to passing on sensitive information and documents to Pakistan. The arrest - made by sleuths of the counter-intelligence unit of J-K police - and the subsequent seizures were carried out on the basis of Khokhar's revelations. Hailing from Adhall village of Kokernag in Anantnag district of South Kashmir, Khokhar had been working in Srinagar for several years, sources said. 'The police have substantial evidence against him. They generally do not touch journalists unless they have solid information,' sources here said.


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