Even as a Lieut Colonel faces a Court of Inquiry (CoI) for establishing contact with a Bangladesh woman over social networking site Facebook, historically Indian spy world and armed forces have periodically seen cases of women being used as baits to glean away information.
Instructions to the armed forces and also to the security and intelligence agencies disallow personnel from revealing their identity over the Internet. No information about self, the regiment, or its location can be posted over social networking sites.
The Lieut Colonel, who was the second-in-command of an armoured unit based at Suratgarh in Western Rajasthan, was caught when his chats with a Bangladeshi woman over the Facebook were intercepted by the Intelligence Bureau. No evidence of physical contact has been found so far.
The same woman, Sheeba, was involved in honey trapping of another Lt Col during his posting in Bangladesh. The officer was photographed with the woman at a party and then blackmailed by the ISI to part with information. The officer reported the matter to his seniors and was sent back to India.
Women contacting men from Indian armed forces or security agencies is not new.
In 2005, a book ‘Mitrokhin Archives’, authored by former KGB spy Vasili Mitrokhin, narrated how Jawaharlal Lal Nehru and the IB did not realise that the Indian embassy in Moscow was being penetrated by the KGB using women. Mitrokhin narrated that an Indian diplomat was recruited, probably in the early 1950s, with the help of a female code-named Neverova. The KGB managed to get the Indian embassy codebook and deciphering tables which are used in sending coded messages between the Indian government and its missions abroad. In March 2011, Naval officer Commodore Sukhjinder Singh was sacked for having sexual relations with a Russian woman while he was on a posting to look after the re-fit of sea-borne aircraft carrier, the Admiral Gorshkov. In March 2010, a woman officer, Madhuri Gupta of Indian Foreign Service (IFS-B) was arrested after she developed a relationship with a young Pakistani when she was posted to Islamabad.
* In March 2011, Naval officer, Commodore Sukhjinder Singh, was sacked for having sexual relations with a Russian woman while he was on a posting to look after the re-fit of Admiral Gorshkov
* In early 1990s, an Indian Naval attaché posted in Islamabad ‘fell in love’ with a Pakistani woman who was working in the Pakistan Military Nursing Service at Karachi. The officer was forced to resign
* About six years ago, a RAW officer was recalled from Hong Kong for his relationship with a woman, who was believed to be a Chinese spy
* An IB official was forced to retire when his relationship with a woman US consular officer, who was an agent of the CIA, surfaced