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Life imprisonment for Ex-Brahmos engineer convicted of spying for Pakistan's ISI

Life imprisonment for Ex-Brahmos engineer convicted of spying for Pakistan's ISI

The conviction stems from Agarwal's arrest in 2018 on charges of leaking sensitive information about the Brahmos missile to Pakistani intelligence operatives.

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Life imprisonment for Ex-Brahmos engineer convicted of spying for Pakistan's ISI Life imprisonment for Ex-Brahmos engineer convicted of spying for Pakistan's ISI

A Nagpur court has sentenced former Brahmos Aerospace engineer Nishant Agarwal to life imprisonment for espionage on behalf of Pakistan's intelligence agency, the ISI. Agarwal's case, which shook the nation in 2018, marked the first espionage scandal to rock Brahmos Aerospace, a joint venture between India's DRDO and Russia's NPO Mashinostroyenia.

The conviction stems from Agarwal's arrest in 2018 on charges of leaking sensitive information about the Brahmos missile to Pakistani intelligence operatives. Brahmos Aerospace is renowned for its work on India's supersonic cruise missile, capable of being launched from land, air, sea, and underwater.

Nishant Agarwal, a senior systems engineer at Brahmos Aerospace and a recipient of the Young Scientists award from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), shocked colleagues and authorities alike with his involvement in espionage activities. Known for his brilliance and academic achievements, Agarwal's casual online interactions led him into a web of espionage, authorities revealed.

During the trial, additional sessions court judge MV Deshpande found Agarwal guilty under section 235 of the Criminal Procedure Code, as well as various sections of the Official Secrets Act and the Information Technology Act. In addition to the life sentence, Agarwal was handed 14 years of rigorous imprisonment and fined ₹3,000.

Special Public Prosecutor Jyoti Vajani emphasized the severity of Agarwal's actions, highlighting the significant breach of national security. Agarwal's communication with suspected ISI operatives through social media accounts under the aliases "Neha Sharma" and "Pooja Ranjan" based in Islamabad, exposed sensitive information about India's defense capabilities.

Despite being granted bail by the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court last April, Agarwal's sentencing underscores the gravity of espionage activities and the stringent measures employed to safeguard national security interests.

Edited By: Bikash Chetry
Published On: Jun 03, 2024