New Delhi, India — the Indian government has expelled a Soviet Embassy official for alleged involvement in the nation’s worst espionage scandal in its 37 years of independence, it was reported today.

“The espionage case has taken a dramatic turn with the expulsion of a Soviet national attached to the U.S.S.R. Embassy in New Delhi,”’ the Indian Express newspaper said, quoting intelligence reports.

The Soviet official was not identified in the report, which could not be independently confirmed.

Indian businessman Coomar Narain, the confessed leader of the spy ring, told a judge Monday he had been spying for 2 years and made $1 mil. lion delivering top-secret documents to French Polish and East German diplomats.

The spy network, publicized last month by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, has emerged as the most serious breach of security since India became independent in 1947. The spy ring reached Gandhi’s office as well as the office of Indian President Zail Singh, the Defense Ministry and other government departments. Documents covering a vast range of defense, economic and political secrets were sold to agents from foreign governments.


Two French diplomats have been ordered out of the country for their alleged involvement in the spy ring.


And on Tuesday, The Hindu newspaper reported the government had asked an_ official from the Polish Embassy and another from the East German Embassy to leave the country in connection with the espionage ring.

However, Foreign Ministry spokesman Salman Haidar said a Feb. 11 visit by Polish Prime Minister Wojciech Jaruzelski would not be changed.

Asked specifically about the involvement of Poland and East Germany, Haidar said, “‘Investigations are continuing with appropriate action.”

  1. K. Reddy, The Hindu’s political correspondent, wrote that evidence against Poland and East Germany had been divulged during an ‘‘intense interrogation” rain’s arrest. After Na

“As a result, the government of India has already taken action against the Polish and East German contacts named by Coomar Narain in ordering them out of the country,” the report said.

The newspaper gave no further details of the expulsions and did not quote a source for the information.

In Bombay, police arrested Yogesh Maneklal, the owner of the company that employed Narain, and raided ‘‘business and residential premises” in a hunt for secret documents, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

In his confession, Narain said he spied on behalf of his company and provided the secrets to foreign countries to win orders for the company’s textile products.

Maneklal told reporters the allegations were “baseless and nonsense.”

In court Tuesday, two suspects confessed to stealing secret documents and three others applied to make confessions, court officials said. At least 10 of the 15 suspects arrested in the case so far have decided to confess and five have already made statements in court, officials said.


Article extracted from this publication >>  February 15, 1985