BrahMos spy case: Why India must not ignore the US role in it as well

Vicky Nanjappa

New Delhi, Oct 15: As the investigations into the BrahMos spy cases continues, the police are ascertaining if the main accused, Nishant Agrawal had leaked sensitive data relating to the supersonic missile.

Under the scanner is his computer which is suspected to have sensitive data relating to the missile. Investigators suspect that he may have downloaded the data from a senior's computer when he was training at the organisation.

Agrawal, an engineer was arrested on charges of spying for ISI. He is believed to have been in touch with two persons Neha Sharma and Pooja Aggarwal through Facebook. The police say that these were two profiles created by the ISI, through which the trap was set.

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A police officer associated with the probed told OneIndia that they are also finding out if information was leaked to the US spy agency. It may not have been just the ISI that the information was shared with. The US is also keen on data relating to the BrahMos considering it is an Indo-Russia joint venture, the officer also said.

While seeking his remand the Anti Terrorism Squad had said that it was his casual attitude on the internet that made him an easy target. The ATS also said that it had found some sensitive information on his system, which should not have been with him in the first place. His acts violate the provisions of the Official Secrets Act, the police also said.

The interest around BrahMos:

The BrahMos supersonic missile, which is a joint venture between India and Russia has generated a lot of interest in military circles worldwide. BrahMos gives the Indian Airforce a crucial edge. It was tested in May and July 2018 for indigenously developed major sub-systems, including fuel management system, non metallic airframe components and a highly critical component which is the seeker.

Investigations have shown that it was the seeker technology that had generated a lot of interest among the spies of both Pakistan and the US. It is also suspected that Agrawal was in touch with unknown persons from the US.

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With such crucial technology being developed, it is only obvious that several spy agencies would have an interest around BrahMos, an Intelligence Bureau official tells OneIndia. We suspect that an espionage ring may have been created only to get information about BrahMos and Agrawal may have been one among the many who is part of this ring, the officer also said.

Apart from ascertaining the extent of sensitive data that may have been leaked, the probe would also focus on the espionage ring. Recently a jawan too was arrested after being honey trapped. It was during his questioning that the name of Agrawal cropped up as they were in touch with the same persons on Facebook.

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