The NIA building in New Delhi | ThePrint
The NIA building in New Delhi | ThePrint
Text Size:

New Delhi: In a bizarre “psy ops”, suspected to be launched by Pakistani intelligence operatives, a fake death certificate by the ‘Municipal Corporation of Delhi’ is doing the rounds on social media, stating that a retired Lieutenant Colonel of the ISI died this month in NIA custody.

Sources in the security establishment told ThePrint that the certificate first emerged in Pakistani WhatsApp groups late Tuesday night.

While at first look, the certificate looks original, a closer examination reveals it is fake.

To begin with, Delhi has been incorrectly spelt as ‘Dehli’ and the name of Deputy Commissioner of Police, Special Cell, has been wrongly written as Rajiv Ranjan, who is actually the staff officer to the Delhi police commissioner. There is another Rajiv Ranjan in Delhi Police, who is the additional commissioner (crime).

“This is a psy ops launched by Pakistan’s ISI. It is totally bogus as no such certificate has been issued by the MCD,” a source in the security establishment told The Print.

A copy of the fake death certification that is circulating on social media

The source added that it is laughable to even think that a death certificate would be issued for someone who just exists in Pakistani media reports.

According to Pakistani media reports, Lt Colonel (retired) Mohammad Habib has been untraceable since 6 April 2017 from Lumbini, a Nepalese town near the Indian border and a Buddhist pilgrimage site, soon after his arrival there.

What Pakistani media reported

The story about the disappearance of the former military officer first surfaced in WhatsApp groups of retired military officers and was subsequently picked up by the media.

Incidentally, the reports came just after Pakistan announced a death sentence for former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was arrested on espionage charges.

Pakistani media even alleged that Habib had been abducted by Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in retaliation to the death sentence given to Jadhav.

There are constant rumours that Habib could actually be in Indian custody, but no one has officially confirmed it. It has also been alleged that Habib could eventually be swapped for Jadhav.

When contacted, an NIA officer laughed it off and said he is hearing for the first time that the ‘so-called’ former ISI officer was in their custody.

Also read: Washington to London: An inside account of how Pakistan’s deep state grooms ISI mouthpieces


Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism



  1. I believe that Nepal is a puppet country for Indians, so this is not possible that they kidnapped a Pakistani from Nepal without their wish or will. 2nd Indians are step sons of US, I’m sure they killed that ex military person, now falsifying about realities.

Comments are closed.