The Nashik Unit of the Anti -Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested a 41-year-old employee of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on Thursday, for allegedly trading secrets about the Indian fighter aircraft and their manufacturing unit at Nashik to the Pakistani intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). The accused, Deepak Shirsat, was booked under relevant sections of the Official Secrets Act.
Acting on a tip-off that a person was supplying secret information about Indian fighter aircraft and their manufacturing unit in Nashik's Ozar area to a foreigner, a trap was laid. Shirsat, who has worked for HAL for at least 15 years, was arrested from his house in Nashik by ATS officers for sharing confidential information on Thursday.
During the probe, the accused was interrogated and he revealed that he was in constant touch with the ISI. Shirsat confessed to having supplied secret information about Indian fighter aircraft and crucial details, along with information related to the HAL airbase and the prohibited areas inside the manufacturing unit, which houses both -- Su-30MKIs and MiG-21s. The HAL spokesperson, Gopal Sutar, said, "As the investigation is on, we have no comments to offer."
Vinay Rathod, Deputy Commissioner of Police, ATS, said, "It was revealed during interrogation that Shirsat had passed on secret information of Indian aircraft being in the production line of HAL through various social media platforms, with a probable ISI-related person. He had also shared other prohibitory information about the airbase on WhatsApp."
Accordingly, the accused was booked under relevant sections of the Official Secrets Act. Police also seized three mobile handsets with five SIM cards and two memory cards. The seized material was sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory for examination. He was produced in a court on Friday and remanded in police custody for ten days.