All the ministries and departments have been asked by the Union Home Ministry to remain alert against a clever ploy being used by "inimical" elements to gather sensitive information from their establishments by using decoy identities.
The VIP security unit of the Home Ministry, in a recent communication, has asked these departments and agencies working for sensitive security tasks to deploy their counter-intelligence mechanisms keeping in view the "high" threat of terrorist outfits to the security of their vital installations and operations.
The communication has cited an incident that occurred in October this year when a person posing as a senior diplomat of an Indian Embassy in the Western part of the globe tried to elicit some information from the chief of a unit of "sensitive installations" over phone.
While the senior official who was called up, sources said, did not share any information with the caller, a check back by the officer revealed that there was no officer by the name mentioned, in that Embassy.
The officer in India, sources said, was a senior functionary looking after aviation security.
In an another incident, they said, an attempt was made by suspected spy elements to "carve out" information from a sensitive department using a "forged" letterhead of a government department.
"...Officials and staff of sensitive installations should remain on guard against such attempts made by inimical agents," the Home Ministry communication, accessed by PTI, said.
It added that "inimical forces" were making efforts to elicit secret information through "ingenious" methods and these attempts must be thwarted.
The Ministry, quoting inputs and data gathered by central security agencies about the activities of spies, has asked all the ministries and departments to not disclose any information over phone or any other mode of communication without verifying the credentials and authenticity of the person seeking information.
The Ministry of Home Affairs, based on inputs of intelligence agencies, has directed these agencies that any phone call received in these departments should record the number of the caller and after obtaining approvals from the seniors, call back the number to answer the queries of the said caller.
Very recently, the Home Ministry had also alerted the Defence Ministry about an alleged spy ring being run by Pakistan's ISI, which is trying to use ex-servicemen in the garb of providing job opportunities and financial aid.