A SENIOR systems engineer with BrahMos Aerospace was arrested on Monday on espionage charges in a joint operation carried out by the Uttar Pradesh Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) and Military Intelligence (MI). The agencies are probing if Nishant Aggarwal (27) leaked sensitive data pertaining to the supersonic cruise missile, Brahmos, to his ‘handler’, who is suspected to be from Pakistan.
BrahMos Aerospace is a joint venture between India’s Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russia’s Military Industrial Consortium, NPO Mashinostroyenia. According to its website, “the company is responsible for designing, developing, producing and marketing BrahMos with active participation of a consortium of Indian and Russian industries”.
Aggarwal’s Facebook profile states that he studied at the National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra, and also worked as a research intern at IIT Roorkee. At BrahMos Aerospace, he worked as head of the hydraulics-pneumatics and warhead integration (production department), and headed a 40-member team including personnel from systems, engineers, technical and technology R&D group. Last month, he was awarded the ‘young scientist award’ by DRDO.
According to police, Aggarwal’s name cropped up during the interrogation of BSF jawan Achutanand Mishra, who was arrested last month for allegedly spying for Pakistan’s ISI. Mishra, according to sour...