DRDO scientist honey trap case explained: Who is Pakistani spy ‘Zara’? How she was trained to extract missile secrets

DRDO scientist honey trap case explained: Who is Pakistani spy ‘Zara’? How she was trained to extract missile secrets

INDIA'S Military Secrets LEAKED to Pakistan | How DRDO Scientist Got Honey Trapped by Pakistani Spy

India's defence and security have been compromised by a shocking case of espionage involving a senior scientist of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Pradeep Kurulkar, who was the director of one of the DRDO labs in Pune, has been arrested for leaking classified and sensitive information about India's missile systems and other defence projects to a Pakistani spy who honey-trapped him online.

Who is the Pakistani spy and how did she honey-trap the DRDO scientist?

The Pakistani spy, who used the alias 'Zara Dasgupta', claimed to be a software engineer based in the UK and befriended Kurulkar by sending him obscene messages and videos on WhatsApp and voice and video calls. She used artificial intelligence to create a fake online profile with a Hindu identity to lure the scientist into a relationship.

During their chats, she asked him about various defence projects, such as the Brahmos Launcher, Drone, UCV, Agni Missile Launcher and Military Bridging System, among others. Kurulkar, who was attracted to her, stored the classified and sensitive information of DRDO on his personal phone and then allegedly shared it with Zara. He also shared his personal as well as official schedules and locations with her despite knowing that he was not supposed to do so.

The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Maharashtra police traced Zara's IP address to Pakistan and filed a charge sheet against Kurulkar on July 8, 2023 under the Official Secrets Act. He was arrested on May 3, 2023 and is now in judicial custody.

How are female Pakistani spies trained to honey-trap Indian defence personnel?

According to media reports, female Pakistani spies are trained at a specialized university in Rawalpindi, which is the headquarters of the Pakistani army. Physically attractive women are picked for this and are given specific training in honey-trapping and extracting secrets. They are taught how to use 'sexting' and their photos to manipulate their targets and get confidential information about India's defence forces.

This is not the first time that Pakistani spies have honey-trapped Indian defence personnel by pretending to be women online. In 2019, an Army jawan was arrested for sharing information with ISI agents who posed as women on Facebook. In 2020, an Air Force officer was caught for leaking information to a woman who claimed to be a journalist.

What are the implications of this espionage case for India's national security?

The leakage of India's military secrets to Pakistan is a serious threat to India's national security and sovereignty. It could jeopardize India's strategic advantage over its hostile neighbour and expose its vulnerabilities to potential attacks. It could also damage India's reputation as a global leader in defence research and development.

The DRDO is responsible for designing and developing cutting-edge technologies for India's defence forces, such as missiles, radars, drones, lasers, etc. It has been involved in several prestigious projects, such as Chandrayaan-3, Agni-6, K-5 submarine-launched ballistic missile, etc. The breach of its security protocols by one of its senior scientists is a matter of grave concern and calls for urgent action.

The DRDO had sacked Kurulkar following an internal probe after his activities were found to be suspicious. However, this may not be enough to prevent such incidents from happening again. The DRDO and other defence agencies need to strengthen their cyber security measures and vigilance mechanisms to prevent any infiltration by enemy agents. They also need to educate their personnel about the dangers of online honey-trapping and how to avoid falling prey to it.

India cannot afford to let its guard down when it comes to its defence and security. It has to be vigilant and proactive in countering any attempts by Pakistan or any other adversary to undermine its interests and sovereignty.

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(2) Pakistani spies are honey trapping India's scientists and soldiers by pretending to be women online. https://scroll.in/article/1052396/pakistani-spies-are-honey-trapping-india-s-scientists-and-soldiers-by-pretending-to-be-women-online.
(4) Honey-Trapped DRDO Scientist Revealed Missile Secrets To Pak Spy Agent .... https://www.oneindia.com/india/honey-trapped-drdo-scientist-revealed-missile-secrets-to-pak-spy-agent-3582033.html.
(5) After DRDO Scientist, MEA Staffer Honey-Trapped By Pakistani Spy; Shared G-20 Details On WhatsApp. https://www.msn.com/en-in/health/nutrition/after-drdo-scientist-mea-staffer-honey-trapped-by-pakistani-spy-shared-g-20-details-on-whatsapp/ar-AA1dHCpl.
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