Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 29:
The Crime Branch of Odisha Police has taken over the investigation into the alleged case of spying by Ishwar Chandra Behera, a contractual cameraperson employed with the Interim Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur-on-Sea in Baleswar district, for Pakistani intelligence agency ISI.
Crime Branch took over the probe on the orders of DGP Sanjiv Marik, Crime Branch ADG BK Sharma said here today.
“A three member team of the Crime Branch has left for Balasore today. The team will take Ishwar Chandra Behera into custody and interrogate him,” said.
The SDJM court in Balewsar had allowed local police to take Behera on a seven-day remand for interrogation yesterday.
Behera was arrested by Baleswar police on January 23 after being put under surveillance for weeks following an intelligence tip-off about his suspicious activities. He was charged with section 120 B (criminal conspiracy), section 121 A (treason) and several counts of the Official Secrets Act.
Briefing media persons on the day of the arrest, eastern zone IG Asit Panigrahi had said Behera, who was wroking as a videographer with ITR on contractual basis since 2007, had been spying for ISI for the last 8-10 months.
Behera had been in constant touch with his Kolkata based handler and others, including some based outside the country, and had been passing on highly sensitive information about missile tests to the ISI. Money had been transferred to his SBI account in Chandipur on several occasions in the recent past through money order and internet banking, the IG had said.