A DRDO scientist who was attracted to a Pakistani spy revealed missile secrets.

According to the chargesheet, DRDO scientist Pradeep Kurulkar struck up a conversation with the Pakistani intelligence agent who went under the alias “Zara Dasgupta” about confidential defence projects as well as Indian missile systems.

Kurulkar, the director of one of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) labs in Pune, was charged last week by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of the Maharashtra police.

He is currently in judicial detention after being detained on May 3 for espionage in accordance with the Official Secrets Act.

According to the chargesheet, Pradeep Kurulkar and ‘Zara Dasgupta’ communicated via voice and video conversations as well as WhatsApp.

‘Dasgupta’ sent him explicit messages and videos while posing as a software developer with a UK address. Her IP address was located in Pakistan during the inquiry, the ATS claimed in the chargesheet.

According to the report, the Pakistani spy tried to obtain sensitive and confidential information about, among other things, the Brahmos Launcher, Drone, UCV, Agni Missile Launcher, and Military Bridging System.

According to the chargesheet, Kurulkar, who was drawn to Zara, “stored the classified and sensitive information of DRDO on his personal phone and then allegedly shared it with Zara.”

According to the report, he discussed a number of programmes with her, including surface-to-air missiles (SAM), drones, Brahmos and Agni Missile Launchers, and UCV.

According to the ATS, the two were in touch from June 2022 to December 2022.

In February 2023, Pradeep Kurulkar blocked Zara’s number just before the DRDO opened an internal investigation into his activities since they were deemed questionable. Soon after, he got a WhatsApp message asking “Why you blocked my number?” from another unknown Indian number. The chargesheet claimed that despite being aware that he was not supposed to divulge his personal or professional schedules or locations with anyone, the chat records revealed that he did so with her.


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