Maharashtra ATS arrests DRDO scientist for alleged links with ‘Pakistani Intelligence Operative’

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New Delhi: Pradeep Kurulkar (59), a senior scientist heading the Research & Development Establishment (Engineers) in Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was arrested by Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS). The scientist was taken into custody for allegedly sharing information with Pakistan-based operatives.

When a complaint was filed by a top officer of the Vigilance and Security Department of DRDO against Pradeep Kurulkar, the ATS lodged an FIR at the Kalachowki police station in Mumbai. The accused was booked under the provisions of the Official Secrets Act (OSA) prevailing to “wrongful communication”. He was presented before the court, which imprisoned him under the custody of ATS till May 9.

Upon looking at DRDO’s official website, Kurulkar played a significant role in strategically important projects of the organisation which also include the nuclear-capable Agni missile series as well as other missile systems too.

“He was transferred out from his position as director a few days ago and posted at another DRDO entity in Pune. We have been informed that he is due for retirement in November,” an ATS officer told The Indian Express.

While presenting the accused before the court, ATS informed the court about a probe by the DRDO’s “internal standing committee” along with a forensic report revealing that the accused was reportedly in constant touch with a woman “Pakistani Intelligence Operative” via “WhatsApp messages, voice and video calls” — and allegedly shared sensitive information with her.

As per “procedure”, several electronic devices that were being used by the accused, including cell phones, laptop, and desktop hard discs, were seized by the DRDO officials “on February 24. 2023” for the purpose of Forensic investigation.

ATS when presenting the accused, told the court about Kurulkar’s various international travels and the need to find out whether he was allegedly holding meetings with Pakistani operatives in another country and how.

The probe will also find out about Kurulkar’s contacts in other states, and whether he allegedly took advantage of his position while he was director of the Research and Development Establishment (Engineers) in Dighi between December 12, 2022, and February 24, 2023.

“This primarily seems to be a case of honeytrap in which the senior scientist has come into contact with Pakistan-based intelligence operatives after he was trapped using photos of women on social media platforms. He was in contact with the Pakistan-based operatives through voice messages and video calls from September-October last year and is suspected to have shared sensitive information with the operatives. We are now further probing this communication,” a senior ATS officer told The Indian Express.

Profile:

On DRDO’s profile, Kurulkar is mentioned as a ‘Team Leader and Lead Designer’ who played a vital and groundbreaking role in the successful design, development, and delivery of a number of Military Engineering Systems and Equipements including Missile Launchers for Programme AD, MRSAM, Nirbhay Subsonic Cruise Missile System, Prahar, QRSAM, XRSAM, Hyperbaric Chamber and Mobile Power Supply and High-Pressure Pneumatic System.

The post Maharashtra ATS arrests DRDO scientist for alleged links with ‘Pakistani Intelligence Operative’ appeared first on News24 English.

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Maharashtra ATS arrests DRDO scientist for alleged links with ‘Pakistani Intelligence Operative’
Maharashtra ATS arrests DRDO scientist for alleged links with ‘Pakistani Intelligence Operative’
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