DRDO scientist arrested for passing sensitive information to Pakistani agent sent to 14-day judicial custody

Kurulkar was recently arrested in a suspected case of honeytrap

May 16, 2023 08:56 pm | Updated 09:35 pm IST - Pune

A special court here on Tuesday remanded DRDO scientist Pradeep Kurulkar to a 14-day judicial custody till May 29. Dr. Kurulkar was recently arrested in a suspected case of honeytrap for providing confidential information to a Pakistani agent.

During the hearing on Tuesday, the scientist requested some medicines owing to comorbidities like high blood pressure. The court permitted that he be given medicines, but refused his request for home-cooked food.

On Monday, the special court had extended his police custody till Tuesday after the prosecution said that the arrested scientist’s mobile phone needed to be analysed.

Dr. Kurulkar, a lab director the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) in Pune, was arrested by the Maharashtra police’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on May 3 following a complaint filed by a senior officer of the Vigilance and Security Department of the DRDO.

He was produced before the special court in Pune on May 4.

The scientist was allegedly in touch with a “Pakistan Intelligence Operative” through WhatsApp and video calls, an ATS official said last week, adding it was a case of honeytrap.

After his arrest, an offence under relevant sections of the Official Secrets Act was registered against Dr. Kurulkar.

According to the ATS, a probe by the DRDO’s internal standing committee and a forensic report had revealed that the accused was allegedly in constant touch with a female Pakistani operative through “WhatsApp messages, voice and video calls” and had shared sensitive information with her.

The prosecution earlier informed the court that they seized a phone on which a PIO (Person of Indian Origin) agent had messaged the accused using an Indian number.

Dr. Kurulkar had allegedly travelled to five to six countries on a diplomatic passport and the prosecution wanted to know whom he met during those trips.

The ATS had then informed the court that Dr. Kurulkar is known to have visited several foreign countries and that it was probing whether he held meetings with the Pakistani operative during these visits. The court extended his ATS custody for further probe till May 9, and again till May 15.

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