Shujaat Bukhari

SRINAGAR: Security agencies have questioned a doctor couple at Sunderbani in Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir in connection with their alleged links with Madhuri Gupta, an Indian diplomat posted in Islamabad recently arrested on the charge of spying for Pakistan.

Sources told The Hindu that sleuths of intelligence and security agencies questioned K.R. Sharma and his wife Champa Devi Sharma. Ms. Gupta is said to have made calls to the couple and stayed with them.

The sources claimed Dr. Sharma was in regular touch with her through email and telephone while she was in Islamabad.

The couple admitted to Ms. Gupta having stayed in their home. “Yes, Madhuri Gupta visited our home on March 29, 2010, but she was not our guest,” Dr. Khem Raj Sharma told journalists. She had come with Dr. Prem Lata, her friend of Delhi. “Dr. Lata is my friend, and Madhuri is her friend, not mine,” Dr. Champa said. “Ms. Gupta had accompanied her friend to see this State, and she stayed at my home for two days.”

Dr. Champa also confirmed that Ms. Gupta had made a phone call to her. “She made the call, but she told us about her arrival in Punjab comfortably.” And she did not say anything wrong on the phone. Neither she nor her husband shared any strategic information with her. However, Dr. Champa denied that she was in touch with her through email. “This is totally wrong. We have no email address. We never emailed Madhuri Gupta.”

“We have no tension because we know we have nothing to do with the spying case of Madhuri Gupta. We played host for two days only,” Dr. Champa said.

As for her friendship with Dr. Lata, Dr. Champa said they were batch mates in the medical college, and Madhuri used to visit her on the campus during the 1980s. “I also know her as a friend of my friend.” She had never called her thereafter, and in March 2010, she met her at Sunderbani. “My friend Dr. Lata called me on phone and enquired about the weather and road condition. She also told me that Madhuri Gupta was also coming with her to Sunderbani on tour.” Ms. Gupta had come to her residence in a Pakistan embassy car, she said.

A team of the special cell of the Delhi police, which is investigating the case, is expected to arrive in Rajouri for questioning the couple.

The sources said an Army officer posted in Rajouri was also under the scanner for his links with the couple, and in turn with Ms. Gupta.