New Delhi: In the backdrop of increased surveillance by Chinese and Pakistani online espionage agents, the Indian Army has directed its 13-lakh personnel to refrain from using WhatsApp and other social media platforms, stated a report.

One such advisory asked all the army personnel holding ‘sensitive appointments’ to permanently delete their Facebook accounts. These advisories have been issued as a precautionary measure in the event of the constant online hunt by secret agents to obtain sensitive data about the Indian armed forces, stated a report.

For instance, recently, an Indian army officer posted under the Sukna-based 33 Corps in the Eastern Command was automatically added to a WhatsApp group by a suspected Pakistani mobile number, stated a report. A screenshot of the WhatsApp group was taken by the army officer before exiting from it, added a report. Commenting on this incident, the 33 Corps told Times of India that the “Pakistani intelligence operatives are actively targeting Army personnel and their families.”

The Indian army advisory further said that such incidents of unwanted addition to unauthorized group chats can be avoided by changing the privacy settings in WhatsApp.