An Odisha court on Thursday sentenced a photographer to lifetime imprisonment for spying at the Integrated Test Range in Odisha’s Balasore district.
Judge Girija Prasad Mohapatra held Iswar Chandra Behera, a photographer engaged at DRDO laboratory at ITR on a contractual basis, guilty of conspiracy and sharing vital information with Pakistan’s ISI agency among various foreign intelligence agencies.
The court also slapped a fine of Rs 10,000 on the convict.
As per the prosecution, Behera was tracked and arrested by intelligence agencies for leaking vital information and a police case was registered against him, which was later transferred to the crime branch.
He was convicted under sections 121 A (sedition) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, and 3, 4 and 5 of the Official Secrets Act, a government counsel said.
The police confirmed that money was credited into Behera’s bank account from various countries, he said.
Behera, who hails from Kantipur village in Mayurbhanj district, was employed as a photographer at the ITR on a contractual basis since 2007 at a monthly remuneration of Rs 8,000. He was working in the CCTV section of the ITR’s control tower.
The prosecution said that Behera was spying for Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for 8-10 months prior to his arrest.
He was in constant touch with his handler over the phone and had met him at least 10 times during his trips to Kolkata, a police official had said.