It is rightly said that the threat to India is much higher from the traitors within than from the enemies outside. In a shocking development, Anti Terror Squad (ATS) of Uttar Pradesh has busted a ring of 11 people who were spying on Indian Army and providing highly sensitive information to their handlers in Pakistan. The ATS arrested them and charged them with waging war against the country. The group used to help callers based in Pakistan, Nepal, UAE and Bangladesh eavesdrop on military operations in Jammu & Kashmir using ‘interconnect bypass fraud.‘ That means they allegedly helped these groups conceal their identities by sending call made through the internet to a SIM box capable of redirecting VoIP traffic to mobile networks.

However, what is more shocking is the fact that the kingpin of the ring is Gulshan, who is a FIIT-JEE teacher in Delhi. Acting on an input provided by the Jammu and Kashmir Military Intelligence unit two months back, Uttar Pradesh Anti Terror Squad probed two dozen internet call logs after which it pinned down to the 11 members in the group who were involved in this act of treason. “Military officials posted in vital locations in Jammu and Kashmir were receiving calls from landline and mobile numbers. Identifying themselves as senior Army officers, the unidentified callers asked for specific information. Unsuspecting Army personnel shared the required information,” said inspector general ATS Asim Arun.

Soon, intelligence officers in the military intelligence unit at J&K realized something was seriously wrong and tried to call back on the numbers which had flashed on the screen of the targeted Army personnel. However, none of the numbers were reachable and the calls could not go through. The Army then asked UP ATS to probe the case. As genuine numbers of different Army units were spoofed, the ATS took up the case on priority, sensing an elaborate spying ring.

The ATS got in touch with Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring Cell, the technical arm of the department of telecommunications which acts as interface between security agencies and telecom service providers. Data analytics based on network protocol analysis made it clear that internet calls originating from foreign countries were being bypassed as local calls through 16 SIMbox in three different locations in Uttar Pradesh. Gulshan Sen in Delhi was providing technical support to the three parallel illegal telephone exchanges. The five different teams which worked on the case recovered 10 mobile phones, 16 SIMbox along with 140 prepaid SIM cards of different telecom companies, five laptops and 28 datacards.


Kshitij Mohan