DRDO photographer sentenced to life for espionage

A Photographer for Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has been sentenced to life by an Odisha court for sharing sensitive information and photographs of integrated missile test range (ITR) in Chandipur with ISI.

The convict has been identified as Ishwar Behera (41), worked as a contractual photographer at the CCTV station of DRDO’s missile test range facility at Chandipur, Odisha.

It was found that Behera would go close to the missile testing sites to take videos and later leave for Kolkata on the pretext of getting his camera repaired. He used to hand over sensitive information to ISI agent in Kolkata.

It was also found that money had been transferred to his bank account from Abu Dhabi, Mumbai, Meerut, Andhra Pradesh, and Bihar, among other places.

The Odisha High Court sentenced Ishwar Behera to life under Sections 121A (espionage) and 120B of the IPC and 3, 4 and 5 of the Official Secrets Act. The judge likened the convict’s act to that of terrorism.

“The terrorist groups collect information from people of India like the present convict by providing them money. A group of these people of India is regularly supplying information to the enemies. People like Behera, [who] are putting the safety and security of the Union of India in the hands of the terrorists, are also terrorists. They are the active participants against the sovereignty of India. Whoever goes against the sovereignty of India would put India and its citizens in dangerous situations. They are required to be punished with the utmost severity,” the Judge Girija Prasad Mohapatra said and linked  the convict’s act to that of terrorism.

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