The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is carrying out searches at a dozen locations in the national capital region and Jaipur after registering an FIR against freelance journalist Vivek Raghuvanshi on charges of leaking secret information relating to the country’s defence information to foreign countries.

According to his profile, Raghuvanshi is still working as India head of a defence news portal. A glance at the portal revealed his numerous stories filed on different aspects of Indian defence. Raghuvanshi has been booked under the Officials Secret Act (OSA) as he was found to have collected sensitive and minute details of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Army, and other organisations and shared them with agencies of European countries, including a think tank.

The CBI said it registered the case on December 9, 2022, against Raghuvanshi on allegations that “accused was involved in the illegal collection of sensitive information, including the minute details of the DRDO defence projects and their progress, sensitive details about the future procurement of Indian armed forces, which reveal the strategic preparedness of the country’s classified communications and information relating to national security, details of the strategic and diplomatic talks of India with our friendly countries, and sharing such classified information with intelligence agencies of foreign countries”.

During the investigation, certain documents containing sensitive information were recovered from the possession of the accused, according to the agency.

Sources stated that he is also alleged to have passed on some nuclear plant details and was exploiting his access as a journalist to pass information collected after meeting defence officers to foreign nationals.

The CBI case comes close to the Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) arresting recently DRDO scientist Pradeep Kurulkar after learning that he was honeytrapped by Pakistan intelligence operatives. The intelligence operative had also tried to lure an Indian Air Force official. The ATS had traced IP addresses and found them to be the same as their social profiles, which Pakistani operatives used to honeytrap them. The IAF personnel, however, have not been made an accused in the case but have been subjected to an internal IAF inquiry to ascertain their involvement.