The Court proceedings of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) espionage case, today revealed that an employee of the Indian Air Force (IAF) was also in contact with the Pakistani intelligence Operative (PIO). Today, after completion of the police custody period, DRDO scientist Pradeep Kurulkar was produced before court.
Nikhil Shende, an IAF employee joined the IAF through the sports quota. He is stationed in Bengaluru and hails from Nagpur. His name was revealed during the investigation conducted by the Maharashtra police’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS). The team was searching for individuals potentially targeted by the same person who trapped Kurulkar.
During the argument of extension of custody, it was revealed that an alleged IAF employee’s involvement which has resulted into a departmental inquiry. While the scrutiny intensifies, Kurulkar remains in custody after being arrested by the Maharashtra police’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on charges of sharing classified information with a Pakistani agent.
The IAF employee was also contacted by using the same IP address which was used to connect with DRDO scientists. Shende’s statement has been registered by Pune Court under CrPC Section 164. The involvement of an IAF officer introduces a new aspect to the ongoing investigation, raising further questions about the extent of the espionage network.
During a recent court hearing, the prosecution requested an extension of Kurulkar’s custody. Prosecution stressed the need for further interrogation in the case. In response, the defense argued that all relevant devices had already been confiscated and that Kurulkar had been cooperating fully with the authorities. Considering these arguments, the court granted an additional day of police custody for Kurulkar.
The allegations against Kurulkar revolve around his communication with an agent referred to as a Pakistan Intelligence Operative through WhatsApp and video calls, hinting at a potential honeytrap operation. After his arrest, Kurulkar was charged under the applicable sections of the Official Secrets Act.