Maharashtra: The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) investigation into the Pradeep Kurulkar espionage case has revealed that the Pakistani Intelligence Operative (PIO) who had contacted the senior Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) scientist was also in touch with an Indian Air Force (IAF) officer.
The ATS sought an extension of Kurulkar’s custody for one day to conduct further technical investigations.
Special Judge PP Jadhav granted the request, ordering Kurulkar to remain in ATS custody until Tuesday, reports said.
Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel Nikhil Shende was found to be in touch with Pakistani intelligence agency.
Shende, currently stationed in Bangalore, is undergoing interrogation by Air Force officials. He has also provided his statement to the ATS, which has been recorded before the First Class Magistrate at the Shivajinagar Court, informed ATS Senior Police Inspector Sujata Tanwade to the special court.
ATS informed the court that Pakistani intelligence agencies attempted to ensnare Air Force officer Nikhil Shende in a honey trap. Shende is being interrogated by senior Air Force officers in Bangalore, and his statement has been recorded in court. However, he is not implicated as an accused in the case. ATS officials informed the court that technical investigations revealed that the messages sent to Kurulkar and Shende originated from Pakistani IP addresses.
Investigators have discovered several emails sent to Kurulkar from Pakistan, raising suspicions that he may have shared sensitive information that could compromise national security of India.
The laptop and mobile phone seized from him have undergone technical analysis, and a report has been received.