Chandigarh, March 04:

A drug racket linked to Pakistani intelligence agencies has surfaced as the Army probes the alleged breach of sensitive operational data from its Northern Command headquarters in Udhampur. A preliminary investigation is said to have revealed the alleged involvement of three jawans.

while one of the jawans was based in Udhampur and allegedly had access to operational data at the headquarters, the two other jawans were from different battalions, and were posted elsewhere.

But all three are said to have been in contact with each other, sources said.

It is learnt that the alleged involvement of at least two jawans in the drug trade as users or sellers has been probed by the intelligence agencies because it was via the drug route that Pakistani intelligence operatives allegedly enticed them into gathering intelligence.

Significantly, the General Officer Commanding 16 Corps is the presiding officer of the Court of Inquiry along with two Major Generals as members of the inquiry team into the alleged breach.

A Central intelligence agency, sources said, stumbled upon the matter during an investigation into a drug trade with Pakistani links. A dead drop of a pen drive, containing allegedly sensitive operational information pertaining to the Northern Command, was made by one of the jawans which was intercepted by the agency.

Sources said the Military Intelligence was alerted and the involvement of the three jawans came to light. Further investigation is still on and culpability of other individuals is being explored, it is learnt.

When contacted, a senior Army officer in New Delhi declined to comment on these details, saying the inquiry is in progress and the probe will reveal all details concerning the data leak.