Nashik: HAL employee held for spying for ISI, sharing info on fighter jets

Updated: 09 October, 2020 16:54 IST | Faizan Khan | Mumbai

The accused, identified as 41-year-old Deepak Shirsat, was supplying secret information about Indian fighter aircrafts and their HAL manufacturing unit in Ozar, Nashik.

The accused Deepak Shirsat. Pic/ Facebook
The accused Deepak Shirsat. Pic/ Facebook

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), Nashik unit, arrested an employee of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) for allegedly spying for Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan.

Interrogation has revealed that the accused, identified as Deepak Shirsat (41), was supplying secret information about Indian fighter aircrafts and their HAL manufacturing unit in Ozar, Nashik, to the Pakistani intelligence agency, ATS officials said on Friday.

“An offence under Sections 3, 4 & 5 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923, has been registered against the accused and three mobile handsets with five SIM cards and two memory cards have been seized from his possession. They are being sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory for examination,” said an ATS official.

Among other things, the sleuths learnt that he was allegedly passing on documents, photographs, maps with longitude-latitude markings of defence-related facilities in Nashik, via WhatsApp and other modes of communication.

"An offence under Sections 3, 4 and 5 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923 has been registered against the accused. We have seized three mobile handsets with five SIM cards and two memory cards, which have been sent for forensic examination," said Additional DGP (ATS), Deven Bharti.

The accused was produced before a special ATS court in Nashik, which remanded him to 10 days' police custody, said ATS DIG Jayant Naiknavre.

Further investigation into the entire racket to unearth the possibility of others' involvement is presently underway.

"As the investigation is on, we have no comments to offer," said HAL spokesperson Gopal Sutar.

Located around 200 km north of Mumbai, the HAL Aircraft Manufacturing Division is engaged in the production of different variants of the MiG and Sukhoi fighter aircraft.

The facility is the mainstay for Russian-origin aircraft in terms of life extension, modification, site repair and investigation. It also exports spares to Russia, Poland, Algeria, Malaysia, Vietnam, Syria and Egypt.

(With inputs from agency)

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First Published: 09 October, 2020 15:17 IST

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