New Delhi — The Home Minister, Mr. S. B. Chavan, on Thursday accepted in the Lok Sabha that some foreign nations did play a part in the recently busted espionage ring, but declined to specify the foreign agencies or diplomats involved in the case.

Replying to a calling attention motion on the recent espionage activities, tabled by Mr. Braj Mohan Mohanty (Congress) and others, he said it would not be proper to name the agencies or diplomats in the interest of ‘‘our good relations with the foreign countries.”’

Mr. Chavan said it was also difficult to say if the “CIA or Russian agency or some other agency was involved,’’ in the espionage activity. It was also difficult for the investigating agencies to establish if the information was passed by the recipient country to other countries.

Others who tabled the motion were Mr. Vijay Kumar Yadav and Mrs. Geeta Mukherjee (bothCPI) and Mr. Harish Rawat Congress (1I). Replying to Mrs. Mukherjee, the Home Minister said that the former cabinet secretary had nothing to do with espionage activity. He was an officer having a distinguished record.

Earlier, the government did not agree to the opposition demand for converting the calling attention motion into a general discussion.

Mr. Chavan informed the House that the investigations so far have revealed the existence of a well-organized conspiracy, trading information about the security of the country.

Mr. Chavan disclosed that so far statements of 120 witnesses had been recorded by the investigating agencies. Investigations conducted have resulted in sufficient evidence to prosecute all the accused persons.

Of the 18 persons arrested so far, 13 were serving government employees and one retired government servant, he added.

The Home Minister assured the House that every care was _ being taken to see that all aspects of the case were carefully worked out so that all the ramifications were fully revealed. The investigations, he _ said, would be brought to a successful conclusion and appropriate action taken against all those responsible for the leakage and espionage activities.

In reply to Mr. Harish Rawat the Home Minister said that security at all sensitive government departments had been tightened and the staff in these departments was being kept under constant surveillance. He also said that entry into all these places had been restricted and only persons with prior appointment were being allowed in.

Mr. Rawat asked the minister about reports of dissatisfaction among the ranks of the Research and Analysis Wing and the Intelligence Bureau and misuse of funds by senior officers in these organizations. Mr. Chavan said steps were being taken to streamline these agencies.

Article extracted from this publication >>  March 29, 1985