The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) sacked its senior scientist Pradeep Kurulkar, Lab Director, following investigations, which suggested that he was leaking information to suspected Pakistani spies, who had honey-trapped him virtually. The scientist was earlier arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) for leaking sensitive information through apps to foreign agents who had honey trapped him.
“The scientist had been removed as the Laboratory Director after our probe found that he was found indulging in leaking sensitive information,” a senior DRDO official told ANI. “The agency had launched a probe against Purulkar after receiving inputs from other agencies about his activities online,” he added. “He had been attached to some office and we had already taken action against him,” the official added.
Officials said the agency is still carrying out an investigation into the issue and also sensitising its officials against indulging in any such activities on social media. Kurulkar was an ‘Outstanding Scientist’ (equivalent to Lieutenant General in Army) while heading the Research & Development Establishment (Engineers) laboratory in Pune as its director.
Responding to the development, Maharashtra ATS said the scientist was found to have had contact with the operatives of Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI through social media via WhatsApp messages, voice calls, and video. The ATS said despite holding a responsible position, the scientist allegedly misused his post, thereby compromising on sensitive government secrets, which could pose a threat to national security if it falls into the hands of the enemy nation. A case has been filed against the scientist under Section 1923 of the Official Secrets Act 1923 and other relevant sections.