ITR espionage: Bail plea hearing of lensman on July 13

Balasore: The bail plea of Ishwara Chandra Behera who was working with Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) at Chandipur as a casual videographer and was arrested on charges of passing secret information to an ISI agent in Kolkata, will be heard on July 13.

Though the Crime Branch, which is probing into the case has filed preliminary charge sheet, it is yet to submit the final charge sheet in the case.

Notably, Behera, a native of Kantipur village in Baisinga block of Mayurbhanj district was arrested on January 23.

Behera used to supply confidential information on various missiles test-fired by DRDO from Wheeler Island to his ISI conduit in Kolkata. A hard disc, two mobile phones and a bank passbook have been seized from his possession at the time of arrest.

Though Behera initially denied his links with ISI, he later confessed that he came in contact with an ISI operative in Kolkata during a visit. He had told the police that he then visited Kolkata very often to meet the ISI point man in the pretext of getting his cameras repaired there. He was believed to have met the ISI man around 10 times so far.

Behera used to get money from ISI through net-banking routed via Abu Dhabi, Mumbai, Meerut, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh. Behera had received Rs 50,000 in his account in six installments from the ISI agent in lieu of his service.

Acting on IB inputs, police had kept strict vigil on Behera’s activities. He was tracked for eight months and was caught with evidence that he was keeping secret contact with the ISI agent in Kolkata.

A case had been registered against him in Chandipur police station and he has been charged under Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 121-A (treason) of IPC.