Arrested BrahMos-engineer was promised fat-paying job in US by handlers
In the latest development in the arrest of BrahMos engineer for leaking sensitive data to Pakistan, sources have said the engineer was promised a job in the US and a fat pay by the handlers. Nishant Agrawal, an Aerospace engineer, was arrested on Monday. An official said Agrawal was honey-trapped by handlers who posed as women. The accounts were traced to Pakistan.
A joint operation by Uttar Pradesh Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) and Military Intelligence (MI), led to Agrawal's arrest. His name cropped up while agencies were investigating a BSF jawan for allegedly spying for the ISI. The personnel Achutanand Mishra was honey trapped by a woman who claimed to be a defense correspondent from Pakistan. A woman scientist working in Kanpur is also being investigated.
Agrawal, who worked at the technical research center of the agency, may have leaked sensitive data pertaining to the supersonic cruise missile to his handler, and agencies are probing this angle. An official said he shared data in the coded form and they are trying to decode it. The agencies will also be studying his and his relatives' bank accounts to learn if money was involved.
Officials said Agrawal's Facebook profile gave away information. He had put out professional details like his rank, profile, and job description. "This could have been picked up by those trying to look for potential contacts in the Indian defense establishment to get data on country technology," the official said. The handlers were apparently interested in information about technology being developed by India and Russia.
Agrawal was interacting with two Facebook accounts named Neha Sharma and Pooja Ranjan. He was arrested under Official Secrets Act and local Nagpur court gave his three-day transit remand to UP ATS. He got married in April, and lived with his wife in a rented accommodation in Nagpur. Meanwhile, Agrawal's father, a doctor by profession, has claimed his son is innocent.