Senior journalist, Rajeev Sharma, was arrested from his residence in Pitampura on September 14 by the Special Cell of Delhi Police. According to DCP (Special Cell) Sanjeev Kumar Yadav, Sharma was allegedly found to be in possession of classified defence-related documents. The arrest was made under the Official Secrets Act. The journalist was produced before a magistrate on September 15 and was sent into custody for six days in connection with FIR no. 230/2020. Sharma’s bail application has been listed for hearing on September 22. His phone and laptop have been confiscated and the police are going through his call records.
Rajeev Sharma worked earlier for United News of India, The Tribune, Free Press Journal, and Sakaal Times. He had been working as a freelancer lately, his area of expertise being foreign affairs and defence. He also runs a YouTube channel called Rajeev Kishkinda. Soon after the news of his arrest came, Sharma’s Twitter account displayed the message ‘This account is temporarily restricted’. His tweets were no longer accessible and the message further read, ‘You’re seeing this warning because there has been some unusual activity from this account.’
Rajeev Sharma’s name had also figured among those who were allegedly snooped on by Pegasus, an Israeli spyware. In October 2019, media reports had suggested that the spyware was used to conduct cyber espionage on several activists, academicians, lawyers and journalists.