A special squad of Balasore police has arrested four contractual employees of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) wing of DRDO at Chandipur missile launch Pad III on espionage charges. The accused were passing crucial defence secrets about ITR to a neighbouring country.
The accused were identified as Basanta Behera, Sk. Fusafir, Prakash Behera while the name of the fourth is yet to be disclosed.
Based on input received from reliable sources, four persons have been arrested for committing offence U/S- 120-B/121-A/34 IPC-R/W- Sec-3,4&5 of Official Secret Act on the charge of causing serious harm to the security, sovereignty and integrity of the nation.
According to sources, accused Basanta Behera is an air-condition generator operator engaged in Launchpad-III. He has been found calling and receiving international calls. The officials suspected him of transmitting defence-related information to Pakistan about the DRDO’s missile activities.
As most of his calls were traced to international borders beyond Rajasthan, it was intimated to the Special Squad in Balasore about Basant Behera’s suspicious activities. Consequently, Behera and three others have been picked up from their houses on Tuesday morning.
“It is related to a national security incident. After getting detailed information we will share all about the incident," said DGP Abhay in Bhubaneswar.
“We had credible information that some people are sharing important information of Chandipur ITR to neighbouring countries. We have formed a different team and arrested the four accused. Further Interrogation is going on," said Himanshu Lal, IG Eastern Zone.
Balasore SP Sudhanshu Sekhar Mishra said that all the accused are engaged as contractual employees at Chandipur ITR.
In December, Iswar Behera, a contractual photographer of Chandipur ITR has been arrested and convicted on charges of transmitting information relating to missile design and technology to the Inter-State Intelligence Agency of Pakistan.