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DRDL staff arrested for sharing confidential info with suspected Pak ISI spy

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A contractual employee of DRDO laboratory – Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) in Hyderabad was arrested for allegedly sharing confidential information with a suspected ISI female handler, police said.

The Telangana Police arrested the accused, Dukka Mallikarjuna Reddy, 29, based on credible information, on June 17, a press release said.

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“On June 17, 2022, on credible information, the Sleuths of Special Operations Team, LB Nagar Zone, Rachakonda in a joint operation with Balapur Police, arrested the contractual employee of Defence Research & Development Laboratory (DRDL) who has shared the highly secured and confidential information of DRDL-RCI Complex through social media to a suspected ISI female handler which is prone to create harm to national integrity and security,” the police said.

The accused, who completed engineering in 2014, had worked as a ‘quality check engineer’ in a private firm in Visakhapatnam and quit the job in 2018.

Later, he worked at the Hyderabad branch of a Bengaluru-based company, which had secured a project from the DRDL.

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The company, however, did not get any further projects from DRDL subsequently.

In February 2020, he directly approached DRDL authorities to enroll him as a contract employee in a project. Since then, he continued to work at the same location at RCI, Balapur in the city.

In March 2020, the accused received a friend’s request from Natasha Rao and accepted it.

The woman introduced herself as an employee of “UK Defence Journal” and claimed that she was into publishing, it added.

During a conversation with her, the accused is said to have shared confidential information.

He also shared his bank account number with Natasha Rao, who was in touch with him till December 2021.

“In March 2020, the accused Mallikarjuna Reddy got a friend request on Facebook from one Natasha Rao to his Facebook account user name XXXX and mail ID He accepted her request and she introduced herself as an employee of the UK Defence Journal and engaged in publishing works.

“She revealed that earlier she used to stay in Bengaluru, India. Her father worked in the Indian Air Force and later shifted to the UK. She inquired about his profession, location of work & Company. During his conversation with Natasha Rao, the accused shared confidential information. Further, the accused has also shared his bank account number to Natasha Rao and he was in contact with her till December 2021,” the police statement said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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