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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Odisha Crime Branch on Tuesday submitted a status report in the probe into the DRDO espionage case at the Orissa High Court.

As per the status report, the five contractual employees of the Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur were in touch with several foreign women on various social media platforms, including Facebook and WhatsApp. The arrested employees were receiving money in their bank accounts from foreign countries.

The court had last month asked the Centre and the state government to file affidavits, informing the court of the current status of the investigation into the alleged leaking of classified defence secrets out of the country. 

The Centre has not yet submitted its report, for which the court has fixed February 3, 2022, the next date of hearing.

The court’s direction came in response to a petition filed by an advocate seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the sensational spy case.

In September, the police had arrested five persons working at the ITR in Chandipur of Balasore district on charges of having links with a foreign agent, and supplying crucial defence intel to outside of India .

Police had earlier said that they had found involvement of a female operative, suspected to be a Pakistani.

(Edited by Suryakant Pradhan)

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