New Delhi: The French ambassador was ordered to leave India because he allegedly knew that a member of his embassy was passing highly classified state secrets to foreign intelligence agents, it was reported today.

The Hindustan Times, New Delhi’s largest English language daily newspaper, also reported the secrets were being passed to both U.S. and Soviet agents the first time the Soviets have been prominently linked to the spy scandal.

India ordered Ambassador Serge Boidevaix to leave the country in 30 days and the French agreed to withdraw him, Foreign Ministry spokesman Salman Haidar said Friday.

 Although Haidar declined to give the reason for Boidevaix removal, Foreign Ministry sources said it was in connection with a spy ring believed to have penetrated the highest levels of the Indian government.

Boidevaix, who has been in New Delhi just over two years, was the second French diplomat asked to leave the country in connection with the spy ring.

The deputy military attache, Lt. Col. Alain Bolley, was hurriedly withdrawn from New Delhi Jan. 20; three days after Indian counterintelligence officers began a series. Of arrests of suspected spies.

Foreign Ministry sources said Boidevaix Was not believed to be directly involved in the spying, but was being held responsible as Bolley’s superior.

The Hindustan Times reported today that Boidevaix was aware of Bolley’s alleged spying activities.

“Colonel Bolley. Is turning out to be a double ‘agent who was passing on classified information to the intelligence operatives of both the superpowers,”’ the newspaper said, quoting “reliable sources.”

“However, more surprising is the evidence reportedly gathered by the counterintelligence agencies that Bolley’s mission chief, Mr. Serge Boidevaix, was in the know of his clandestine operations.”

 The Hindustan Times, which leans towards the ruling Congress Party, said it was earlier believed the military attache’s activities were connected ‘‘with only NATO countries.”

“But now it was gleaned that he was also supplying the Russian operatives with some of the information collected through his sources.”

“Though it is yet to be confirmed whether the French envoy knew his deputy military attache was sharing information with the communist power as well, he evidently did not obstruct Bolley’s enterprise,’’ the newspaper said.

A total of 14 people have been charged with spying in India so far and others have been detained for questioning or are being sought.

The spy ring allegedly penetrated the offices of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, President Zail Singh and the Defense Ministry.

Hundreds of photocopies of top secret documents concerning military défense purchases, electronics information, India’s atomic energy program and sensitive internal political matters reportedly were seized in police raids.


 In a related development, the Press Trust of India domestic news agency reported that 10 Indian military officers have been arrested in another spy ring operating near the sensitive Pakistani Indian border.

Article extracted from this publication >> February 8, 1985