DRDO Espionage Case: Accused Were Allegedly Honey Trapped

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Day after the arrest of four contractual employees of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on charges of leaking secret information, the Crime Branch has been directed to probe the case, as per the order of DGP Odisha. A four-member probing team headed by Addl SP Prasant Bisoyi will take charge of the investigation. Earlier in the day, the four contractual employees of the Integrated Test Range of DRDO in Chandipur were presented before the court following a medical examination.

The four accused have been identified as contractual AC operator Basanta Behera, contractual DG operator Hemanta Kumar Mistri, a contractual employee at ITR main gate Tapas Ranjan Nayak and contractual AC operator Sk. Musafir, from Balasore district. All were engaged in launch pad-III at ITR, Chandipur. On the other hand, the police have detained two other accused in this connection.

Baleswar SP Sudhanshu Shekhar Mishra said, “They were active on social media and shared secret information with neighbouring countries. The investigation is going on.”

Gayatri Das, Assistant Public Prosecutor said that the accused have been charged under Section 120(B), 121(A), 34(IPC) of the Official Secret Act.

The charges include committing an offence of causing serious harm to the security, sovereignty and integrity of the nation. While Hemant Mistry, one of the accused, admitted that he was in touch with a woman on Facebook, it has been revealed that the accused were honey-trapped. They had first received messages from the agents on Facebook Messenger and thereafter started talking via WhatsApp via voice and video calls

Mistry told the police that the woman was “Indian”, and they chatted in Hindi.

Accused Basanta Behera denied the allegations, and called them false.

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