DRDO award winner was arrested for leaking information to Pakistan

Nagpur: A Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) employee was arrested on Monday from the BrahMos missile unit in Nagpur for allegedly leaking technical secrets to Pakistan. The accused has been identified as Nishant Pradeep Agrawal, who is said to be working at Brahmos Aerospace unit for the last four years. He has been booked under the Official Secrets Act.

Agarwal was arrested in a joint operation conducted by the Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squads at DRDO’s Wardha Road facility in Nagpur.

Sources said that some suspicious material was recovered from his possession. “We have found
certain secret and ultra-sensitive information on his personal computer.

The UP ATS team reached Nagpur on Sunday night and swooped down on Agarwal’s rented accommodation in Ujjwal Nagar, a middle-class locality. According to his neighbours, Cops came in a car around 5 am on Monday and entered the house by scaling the wall. The ATS team interrogated him till afternoon and later arrested under the Official Secrets Act.

Highly placed sources in the ATS revealed that Agarwal had used a “coded game” to send vital information to ISI agents in Pakistan. Efforts were on to decode the gaming codes and decrypt the information.

It should not be there on his personal laptop. It violates the provisions of the OSA, and hence he has been arrested,” a statement said. The BrahMos is a medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarine, ships, aircraft, or land.

It is the fastest cruise missile in the world and was developed in a joint venture between the Russian Federation’s NPO Mashinostroyeniya and India’s DRDO.

Nishant studied at the National Institute of Technology in Kurukshetra, was a gold medallist and is described as a very bright engineer. According to reports, he married last week. The police are investigating whether he was “honey-trapped” by Facebook IDs

in the name of women, which have been traced to Pakistan. “Very sensitive information was found on his personal computer. We found evidence of him chatting on Facebook with Pakistan-based IDs,” said Aseem Arun, the chief of the anti-terror squad of Uttar Pradesh.

Two more scientists working in a Defence Research and Development Organisation lab in Kanpur are also under the scanner. Some experts, however, said Nishant worked at the integration facility and doubt he had access to any classified information. Among other things, the BrahMos Missile Research Centre is involved in making certain critical components for the BrahMos Missile.