Bhubaneswar: In a significant development in the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) secret leak case in Odisha, the accused were reportedly honeytrapped by foreign agents, suspectedly of Pakistan.
The four accused, all contractual employees of DRDO’s Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur, were honeytrapped for information on activities at the test facility. As per police sources, the agents contacted them on Facebook Messenger and later communicated over WhatsApp through voice and video calls using fake names. The agents gave them money in exchange for the secret information, media reports said.
Police had yesterday arrested the four in Balasore district and registered a case against them under sections 120-B/121-A/34 of IPC-R/W and sections 3, 4 and 5 of the Official Secret Act for committing offence of causing serious harm to the security, sovereignty and integrity of the nation.
They have been identified as contractual AC operator Basanta Behera (52), contractual DG operator Hemanta Kumar Mistri (52), contractual employee at ITR main gate Tapas Ranjan Nayak (41) and contractual AC operator Sk. Musafir (32), all of Balasore district.
In this case, police had got credible intelligence that some persons were wrongfully and willfully communicating the classified defence secrets to foreign agents, appearing to be Pakistani agents, being contacted from various ISD phone numbers and in exchange, they were getting wrongful monetary benefits from them.
Based on these inputs, multiple police teams were formed to apprehend the accused. In the course of raids by Balasore police, several incriminating materials were also recovered. The four were apprehended from their respective houses under Chandipur police limits.
“We have some credible input that few people are sharing some sensitive information, which is important in view of national security, to foreign agencies. The Balasore district police have apprehended four persons and interrogation is on,” Inspector General of Police (eastern range) Himanshu Lal told media persons.
For the second time such a case of espionage surfaced at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur. In January 2015, a former DRDO employee Iswar Chandra Behera was arrested on charge of spying for Pakistan Intelligence Agency, ISI. He was convicted with life imprisonment in February this year.