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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The four arrested contractual employees at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Chandipur in Odisha's Balasore district, who were leaking secret information to the Pakistani agents, are reportedly honey-trapped.

The fourth accused, whose identity was kept secret, has been identified as Hemanta Mistry. 

According to police sources, Mistry, who was working as DG operator in DRDO, had link with a woman. The woman reportedly lured the quartet to leak secret information of DRDO to Pakistani agents.

All the accused have been forwarded to Balasore SDJM Court today.

Others, who were arrested for the espionage charges, have been identified as Basanta Behera, Tulu Behera and Sheikh Musaq. Based on input received from reliable sources, four persons were apprehended in Chandipur police station under Case No.76, Dt.14.09.21, U/S- 120-B/121-A/34 IPC-R/W- Sec-3, 4&5 of Official Secret Act by Balasore District police.

According to police sources, the accused have been arrested for committing offence of causing serious harm to the security, sovereignty and integrity of our nation and further interrogation of the four accused and some others are going on to unearth more evidence in the case.

According to sources, all the four accused were working at the launch pad-3 of Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur. 

The intelligence reports stated the accused received international calls mostly from Pakistan-Rajasthan border areas and passed secret information to foreign agents.

“All the service providers in DRDO are working in outsourcing. Mostly local people are appointed as contractual workers by contractors. The authorities of DRDO have no information about their character and activities. They have also no scrutiny and control over them leading to the tragic situations,” said former SP Santosh Kumar Nayak.     

This is not the first instance of arrest of any employee of DRDO Chandipur on charges of espionage. Earlier, a similar case in Balasore district was registered in Chandipur police station and investigated by Crime Branch, Odisha that resulted in the conviction of the accused.

On February 11, 2021, Ishwar Chandra Behera, a cameraman at Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur was sentenced to life imprisonment for spying for Pakistani intelligence agency ISI. He was arrested in February 2015 on charges of sharing secret data to Pakistan.

(Edited by Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty)

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