A 41-year-old employee of government-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Nashik, has been arrested on charges of spying for Pakistan. The man was arrested by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS). He has been booked under Official Secrets Act.
Notably, the HAL employee was allegedly supplying secrets about an Indian fighter aircraft and its manufacturing unit to Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). The Nashik Unit of the ATS acted on reliable intelligence inputs about the man, who was in constant touch with ISI.
A police officer said, “The Nashik unit of the state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) received reliable intelligence about the man, who was in constant touch with ISI.”
Mobile phones, sim cards seized
Sources said the man was supplying the secret information about Indian fighter aircraft and other sensitive details, along with the information related to HAL’s aircraft manufacturing unit at Ojhar near Nashik airbase. He was also providing information about some prohibited areas inside the manufacturing unit.
An offence under the Official Secrets Act has been registered against the accused. The ATS has also seized three mobile handsets with five SIM cards and two memory cards from the accused.
The phones and SIM cards have been sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory for examination, the police officer said.
The accused was produced before the court on Friday and has been remanded in ATS custody for 10 days
HAL’s crucial role in Indian defence
HAL’s Aircraft Division Nashik, established in 1964 for licence manufacture of MiG-21FL aircraft and K-13 missiles, is located at Ojhar, 24 km from Nashik, and around 200 km from Mumbai.
The division has also manufactured other MiG variants like MiG-21M, MiG-21 BIS, MiG-27 M, and the state-of-the-art aircraft Su-30 MKI fighter jet. The division also carries out an overhaul of the MiG series aircraft and Repair and Overhaul (ROH) of Su-30 MKI aircraft.
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