The Additional District and Sessions Court of Balasore on Thursday awarded life imprisonment to a videographer who was arrested on charges of spying six years ago.
Judge Girija Prasad Mohapatra convicted Iswar Chandra Behera under sections of 121 (A) (Waging, or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war, against the Government of India), 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy), and Sections 3, 4, 5 of Official Secrets Act, 1923. The court also directed him to pay a fine of Rs 10,000.
A former contractual employee of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Behera was arrested on January 23, 2015, by a special team of police following a joint investigation by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and State Intelligence Wing for over 10 months.
He was picked up from Balasore and then taken to his Kantipur residence from where police seized two cell phones, a computer, one hard disc, pen drives, bank passbooks, bank account statements, and a UPS.
According to the prosecution, Behera had received money from Abu Dhabi, Meerut, Mumbai, Bihar, and Andhra Pradesh for allegedly sharing defence secrecy and information about testing of missiles and vital defence installations located in Chandipur and Kalam Island. Police had retrieved an audio clipping of his conversation with the suspected ISI agents.
A graduate from Remuna College, Behera had joined the Integrated Test Range (ITR) with a monthly salary of Rs 8,000 in August 2007 and was working as a contractual videographer in the CCTV section of the control tower.
Behera had initially denied his links but later confessed to sharing information and videos from the test range. He was in contact with suspected ISI agents and had received Rs 35,000 in six installments between December 2013 and December 2014.