A Pakistani intelligence agent, “Zara Dasgupta,” allegedly lured DRDO scientist Pradeep Kurulkar. He (the scientist) got into detention by ATS under the Official Secrets Act. Kurulkar, head of a DRDO laboratory in Pune, spoke with Dasgupta about Indian missile systems and top-secret defense initiatives. The ATS claims Kurulkar stored confidential details of DRDO on his cell phone and provided them to Dasgupta.
A Pakistani agent honey-trapped a DRDO scientist to learn about Indian missile systems
“Despite being aware that such information was not to be discussed with anyone, Kurulkar shared his personal and professional plans with Zara Dasgupta,” according to the chat records in the charge sheet.
ATS filed the chargesheet against a DRDO scientist
A Pakistani intelligence agent using a false identity, “Zara Dasgupta,” reportedly lured DRDO scientist Pradeep Kurulkar, according to the chargesheet submitted by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of the Maharashtra police.
According to the charge sheet, Kurulkar spoke with ‘Zara Dasgupta’ about Indian missile systems and other top-secret defense initiatives. Kurulkar, the head of a DRDO laboratory in Pune, had the chargesheet brought against him in tribunal last week.
Pradeep Kurulkar got into detention under the Official Secrets Act
Pradeep Kurulkar was brought into custody on May 3 under the Official Secrets Act. According to the charge sheet, Kurulkar and ‘Zara Dasgupta’ kept in touch via audio & video calls and WhatsApp.
The Pakistani agent pretended to be a software engineer living in the UK
To get in touch with Kurulkar, “Zara Dasgupta” allegedly pretended to be a software engineer living in the UK and sent him explicit messages and videos.
Her IP address ended up in Pakistan during the probe, as the ATS claimed in the chargesheet.
The Pakistani agent tried to acquire delicate and secretive information
“The Pakistani agent allegedly attempted to obtain sensitive and confidential information about the Brahmos Launcher, Drone, UCV, Agni Missile Launcher, and other systems,” according to the charge sheet.
Who is Pradeep Kurulkar?
The Systems Engineering Laboratory of the Research & Development Establishment (Engineers) [R&DE(E)], a division of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), has appointed Pradeep Kurulkar as its Director.
As the chief designer and team leader, Kurulkar was crucial in the development & design of several military engineering tools and systems. Various programs like AD, MRSAM, Nirbhay subsonic cruise missile system, Prahar, QRSAM, and XRSAM, additionally involve hyperbaric chambers, high-pressure pneumatic systems, mobile power supplies, and missile launchers.
What details did he divulge?
According to the charge sheet, Kurulkar, who had access to Zara, “stored confidential and private details of DRDO on his cell phone and then reportedly provided it to Zara.”
The ATS claims that Pradeep Kurulkar spoke with ‘Zara Dasgupta’ about a variety of projects, including surface-to-air missiles (SAM), drones, Brahmos and Agni Missile Launchers, and UCV (Unmanned Combat Vehicles). Their exchanges took place between June 2022 and December 2022.
Kurulkar did, however, block Zara’s number in February 2023, just before the DRDO launched an internal investigation because of his suspicious behavior.