BHUBANESWAR: The Crime Branch of police on Wednesday, September 15, 2021, took over the alleged case of espionage in which four contractual employees of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) were arrested. A four-member team of the Crime Branch led by Additional SP Prasant Kumar Bisoyi will probe the case. The team has left for Balasore to take charge of the investigation.
Meanwhile, the Balasore police disclosed the names of accused persons who were allegedly honey-trapped by the purported Pakistani agents to share defence secrets from the Integrated Test Range (ITR), a unit of DRDO. The four accused - Basanta Behera (52) of Jhampura, Hemanta Kumar Mistri (52) of Buanla, Tapas Ranjan Nayak (41) of Palasia and Sk Musafir (32) of Srikona - were produced before the court of Sub-divisional judicial magistrate (SDJM) at Balasore. They were remanded in judicial custody after their bail applications were rejected.
Police said Behera and Musafir were contractual AC operators at ITR while Mistri was a contractual DG set operator at one of the missile launching complexes. Nayak was a gatekeeper at the ITR main gate and they all have been working there for the last eight to 12 years.
“We have found monetary transactions between the agents and the contractual DRDO employees. They had been constantly chatting with girls, appearing to be Pakistani agents, through WhatsApp voice and video calls besides Facebook messenger. They had received money in exchange for information on different activities at the test range,” said a senior police official.
Evidence of money transactions in bank accounts, as well as wire transfers, have been found, sources added.
The four accused had allegedly communicated classified defence secrets to the foreign agents after they were contacted through various ISD phone numbers. They were arrested for committing offence of causing serious harm to the security, sovereignty and integrity of the nation.