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Sunday, June 4, 2023

Pune DRDO scientist arrested by Maharashtra ATS for compromising national security & leaking info to Pak agent

A DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization) official working in one of the organization’s Pune offices was arrested by Maharashtra’s Anti-terrorism Squad (ATS). He has been charged under the Official Secrets Act 1923 for reportedly leaking information to Pakistan.

Pune DRDO officer arrested

According to reports, the officer identified as Pradeep Kurulkar had contacts with Pakistan’s intelligence agency (PIO) through social media. ATS stated that the DRDO scientist was in touch with PIO operatives through WhatsApp messages, video calls, and other communication methods while adding that this was a case of a honeytrap.

Maharashtra ATS has registered a case at Mumbai’s Kalachowki Police Station charging the official under the 1923 Official Secret Act and other relevant sections. “The scientist, by misusing his position, despite knowing that the official secrets in his possession if obtained by the enemy country can pose a threat to the security of the country, provided the details to the enemy country”, the ATS stated in its official statement. The police said that further investigations into the matter are underway.

Honey-trapping of officials

In March this year, a similar case of a senior technical officer working at DRDO Chandipur’s Integrated Test Range (ITR) being honey-trapped came to the fore from Odisha. He was taken into custody by Balasore police and charged with passing DRDO’s classified information to a foreign agent. As per reports, the DRDO ITR official identified as Baburam Dey was honey-trapped by a Pakistani woman agent with whom he shared the classified information. He befriended the woman on social media. The 51-year-old is a resident of Balasore District’s Jaleswar.

Four contractual employees of Chandipur’s DRDO ITR were arrested in September 2021. The four were charged with sharing classified secrets with a Pakistani agent. At that time, the Odisha crime branch that took over the investigation from Balasore police discovered that a Pakistani woman had honey-trapped the four.

In February 2021, Balasore Additional District Judge (ADJ) court convicted and awarded life imprisonment to Ishwar Behera, a former cameraman at DRDO’s Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur on charges of espionage. Behera was arrested in January 2015 for passing confidential information to Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI regarding the testing of missiles at the ITR.

(Featured Image Source: DRDO website)

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