Court extends custody of DRDO scientist held for providing secret info to Pak agent

The special court in Pune on Monday extended till May 16 the police custody of DRDO scientist Pradeep Kurulkar, arrested on charges of providing confidential information to a Pakistani agent.

Seeking an extension of Kurulkar’s custody, the prosecution said his mobile phone needs to be analysed. “Police had to open the mobile phone with the help of the accused as they couldn’t do so on their own,” the prosecution told the judge.

The defence counsel argued that no new information has been found though the mobile phone was seized earlier. Kurulkar, a director at one of the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) labs in Pune, was arrested by the Maharashtra police’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on May 3.

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

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

The prosecution had informed the court that they had seized a phone on which the PIO (Person of Indian Origin) agent had messaged the accused using an Indian number. Kurulkar had allegedly travelled to five to six countries on a diplomatic passport and the prosecution wanted to know whom he met during these trips.

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