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Pradeep Singh

In yet another sensational revelation in the highly sensitive Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) espionage case probe, the Odisha Crime Branch on Wednesday claimed Pakistan links of the mysterious woman who is suspected to be the 'handler' of the spy ring engaged in leaking out sensitive intel from the high-security defence establishment.

Amid the ongoing investigation into the Chandipur DRDO espionage case, Pakistan link has surfaced as four Facebook accounts of the mysterious ‘operative’ were operated from Pakistan through proxy IPs to keep the location secret. Out of the four accounts, three were operated from Islamabad whereas one was from Rawalpindi, informed Crime Branch ADG Sanjeev Panda.

"Most of the time they were using proxy IP adresses of Pakistan. They have also used proxy IPs of India, US and Germany to hide secrets. A few such social media accounts are still found active," said Panda without divulging whether any staff of DRDO is still in contact with the mysterious ‘operative’.

First phase interrogation of the arrested five accused is underway and the Crime Branch is collecting all technical data from different agencies. "Once we collect all the data, we may bring them to our remand again," said Panda.

Defence expert, Biswajeet Nayak said, "The honey trapping has been done in an organised way under a long term plan to extract as much vital military information as possible."

Cyber expert, Prashant Sahu explained the whole business of using proxy server by terming it the safest way to hide the actual identity and location of the user. "They use proxy IP addresses to hide their identity. Other than that, they also use several other applications like VoIP call in Whatsapp," said Sahu.

On September 15, a special squad of the Balasore Police led by the Eastern Range IG picked up five contractual employees at DRDO from the main gate of its integrated test range (ITR) for questioning over espionage charges. Out of them, four accused were working at the launch pad-3 of ITR, Chandipur. 

The intelligence reports then stated that the accused were honey-trapped and receiving international calls mostly from Pakistan-Rajasthan border areas and passed secret information to foreign agents. They were identified as Basanta Behera, Tulu Behera, Hemanta Mistry and Sheikh Musaq.

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