DRDO lensman’s family pleads ignorance

Baripada/Balasore/Bhubaneswar: Family members of Ishwar Chandra Behera, the casual videographer working with Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) at Chandipur who was arrested in Balasore yesterday for passing secret information to an ISI agent in Kolkata, have denied having knowledge about his anti-national activities and see a conspiracy behind the whole episode.

Talking to our correspondent in his native Kanteipur village under Baisinga police limits in Mayurbhanj district today, Ishwar’s father Nilakantha Behera said, “Somebody might have contacted him and tricked him into the act. I don’t believe a person like him can do this. Right now it is impossible for me to say whether the charges are true or false.”

He claimed the day-to-day activities of Ishwar were usual. “Whenever he used to get time, he visited us. Here, he used to eat, sleep and if got time, he went to the parental village home to take photographs,” he added.

Ishwar’s mother said, “I had gone to Balasore for personal work. There, I had gone out for some time and upon return, I found that they (police) had taken my son with them.”

Meanwhile, Ishwar has been sent to judicial custody by the Balasore SDJM court after he was produced before it. Sources said the police would pray before the court to take him on remand for questioning.

Speaking to mediapersons in Bhubaneswar, DGP Sanjeev Marik said, “We had been keeping a close watch on this person. When we got evidence that he sent secret things to foreign and got payments, he was nabbed.”

He added that the police have registered cases under Indian Penal Code (IPC) 120b, 121a (3) and (4) and Odisha Officials’ Secret Act against the photographer.

Ishwar had joined DRDO eight years ago as a contractual employee. Before that, he used to eke out a living by setting up a small studio in his village after graduation.