LUCKNOW/MUMBA I: The UP Anti-Terrorist Squad in coordination with their Maharashtra counterparts and Military Intelligence on Monday nabbed Nishant Agarwal, a Nagpur-based engineer of BrahMos Aerospace Ltd for allegedly passing on classified information about the Brahmos missile project to Pakistan.
Brahmos Aersopace, an Indo-Russian joint venture, has its base near Nagpur. Last year, it tested certain advanced versions of the weapon system. The facility from where Agarwal was arrested makes propellants for the missile. Two of his accomplices, one from Kanpur and the other from Agra, are also under ATS scanner. Besides handling new projects at BrahMos Nagpur and Pilani sites, Agarwal headed a team of 40 employees.
Asim Arun, Inspector General, UP ATS, said the name of Agarwal, who won the Young Scientist Award from Government of India for his exemplary services in 2017-18, surfaced during interrogation of honey-trapped BSF jawan Achutanand Mishra arrested recently from Delhi on charges of sending photos, videos of 3D model of BSF Academy, arms and ammunition on WhatsApp to an ISI agent. “We scanned profiles of some other women on Facebook, only to find that a ‘woman impersonated herself as an employee of a US firm had befriended Agarwal in 2016. Later, she lured him to work for her in lieu of money,” Arun said.
The woman turned out to be a Pakistani. Agarwal supplied vital inputs to his ISI handlers through a coded game. The action at Nagpur is a follow-up of the arrest of three persons, including an ISI agent and two DRDO employees at Kanpur. Agarwal was in contact with the trio, and the ISI agent had established contact with him through Facebook using a fake profile.
Interned at IIT
Agarwal hails from Roorkee in Uttarakhand and studied at the National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra. He worked as a research intern at IIT Roorkee. He had also won the Young Scientist Award from Govt of India for his exemplary services in 2017-18
Nishant Agarwal, an engineer with Nagpur-based BrahMos Aerospace, by arrested in a joint operation by the Military Intelligence as well as Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad
Agarwal faces charges of passing on classified information about the Brahmos missile project to Pakistan’s spy agency ISI
A senior engineer, he was heading Hydraulics-Pneumatics and Warhead Integration (Production Department) at BrahMos Aerospace facility on Wardha Road in Nagpur
Agarwal used to pass on confidential info to his ISI handlers through a ‘coded game’