Sri Lankan gets five-year jail term in India for spying

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Sri Lankan national Arun Selvarajan has been sentenced to five-years imprisonment in Chennai in connection with the sensational Thameem Ansari spy case, the IANS news service reported.

A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Chennai pronounced the judgement on Friday convicting Selvarajan for all the charges slapping him with five years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 20,000.

The case was originally registered on September 17, 2012 by Tamil Nadu Police a day after the arrest of Thameem Ansari, a native of Thanjavur district in Tamil Nadu, for conducting espionage at the behest of Pakistan intelligence officers led by accused Amir Zubair Siddique posted at the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo.

The NIA said that there was a conspiracy to carry out terrorist acts in India. The anti-terror agency had re-registered the case on May 1, 2013 and taken over the investigation. It later arrested Selvarajan in this case on September 10, 2014 for engaging in similar espionage activities at the behest of Pakistan intelligence officers.

Selvarajan was earlier involved in criminal cases in Sri Lanka and the enforcement agencies had issued lookout notices for him.

As per the NIA, both Selvarajan and Ansari had conducted espionage at various defence establishments and sensitive locations in Tamil Nadu besides transmitting such classified information to Siddique, threatening the sovereignty and security of India.

NIA on March 6, 2015 filed chargesheet against Ansari and Selvarajan. Later, a supplementary chargesheet was filed against Selvarajan on March 30, 2016. Charges were framed against both the accused on January 8, 2018 and trial had commenced on January 29, 2018. Selvarajn has now been convicted for all the charges against him.

“Trial against Ansari continues and investigation is continuing against the absconding accused Mohammed Anver Mohammed Siraj Ali, native of Sri Lanka besides the Pakistan intelligence officer Amir Zubair Siddique and others,” said the NIA.

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