Bhubaneshwar: The tremor of espionage resurfaced in the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) again with the arrest of four persons from a missile test facility off the Odisha coast for their alleged links with Pakistani agents.
Acting on intelligence inputs, a special team of Odisha police led by IG (Eastern Range) Himashu Lal on Tuesday apprehended the four, who were working as contractual employees at the Integrated Test Range (ITR), a DRDO unit at Chandipur-on-sea.
Preliminary investigations revealed the contractual employees were honey trapped for information on activities at the test facility. Chandipur has two units of DRDO – Proof and Experimental Establishment (PXE) and ITR from where a number of missiles and ammunition are tested.
Police sources said they had first received messages from the agents on Facebook Messenger and thereafter they started talking on WhatsApp via voice and video calls. The agents used fake names and transferred money in exchange for secret information. After tracking them for three days, the 12-member police team nabbed them from their respective houses under Chandipur police limits.
“Based on the information that some persons were wrongfully and willfully communicating classified defence secrets to foreign nationals, appearing to be Pakistani agents, we tracked and arrested them. They were being contacted from various ISD phone numbers and in exchange, they were getting monetary benefits from them,” said the IG.
A case under sections 120-B/121-A/34 of IPC-R/W and sections 3, 4 and 5 of the Official Secret Act has been registered by Balasore district police for committing offence of causing serious harm to the security, sovereignty and integrity of the nation. “We are interrogating the four persons and some others to unearth more evidence in the case. Further investigation is on,” the IG added.
On January 23, 2015, one Iswar Chandra Behera of Kantipur village under Baisinga police limits in Mayurbhanj district was arrested on the charges of espionage. He was awarded life imprisonment on February 11 this year. Behera, a former contractual employee, had received money from Abu Dhabi, Meerut, Mumbai, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh for allegedly sharing defence information about the testing of missiles and vital installations located in Chandipur and Kalam Island.