The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad on Friday arrested an employee of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for allegedly supplying secret information on fighter aircraft to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, NDTV reported.
“The Nashik unit of the state Anti-Terrorism Squad received reliable intelligence about the man, who was in constant touch with ISI,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Vinod Rathod said. “The man, identified as Deepak Shirsath, was supplying confidential information about Indian fighter aircraft and their manufacturing unit to the Pakistani spy agency through WhatsApp and social media.”
Rathod said Shirsath also shared information about the HAL aircraft manufacturing unit at Ozar near Nashik, the airbase and prohibited areas inside the unit.
The man was working as an assistant supervisor with HAL for 15 years, and was picked up from his residence in Nashik, the Hindustan Times reported. An offence under the Official Secrets Act has been registered against the 41-year-old. Three mobile handsets along with five SIM cards and two memory cards have been found in his possession, Rathod said. Shirsath confessed to providing information to the ISI, an Anti-Terrorism Squad officer said.
The seized phones and other electronic equipment were sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory, an unidentified Anti-Terrorism Squad officer added. Shirsath was produced in court and remanded in police custody till October 19.
HAL’s Aircraft Division Nashik was established in 1964. It has manufactured MiG-21FL aircraft and K-13 missiles, as well as other MiG variants like MiG-21M, MiG-21 BIS, MiG-27 M and the Su-30 MKI fighter jet, NDTV reported.
In September 2018, the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad arrested a Border Security Force soldier from Noida for allegedly sharing confidential information with agents from the ISI. Achutanand Misra was allegedly “honey-trapped” into sharing information on unit operations, details of ammunition and trainings at the police academy to a woman who claimed to be a defence reporter.