Police have arrested a suspected spy from a missile test base off the coast of Odisha's Bhadrak district, officials said on Friday. This is the second arrest of a suspected spy from the defence base in three months.
The 30-year-old man, who is yet to be formally identified, was nabbed by defence security personnel while he was loitering around the Wheeler Island, which is just 12 km off the coast of Dhamra in the district, three days back.
Wheeler Island - India's only test facility for long distance missiles like Agni and Prithvi series - is a part of Integrated Test Range (ITR) of Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO).
ITR director MVKV Prasad confirmed the arrest. "We caught a person from the restricted areas of our base. He claimed he was dropped by a boat in the island. We have handed him over to police," Prasad said.
A case was registered in the local marine police station on Thursday and the man, who claims to be from Tamil Nadu was, produced before a court in Bhadrak. Police has also started a process to properly identify him as he claimed to be a fisherman.
"We have contacted the police in Kanyakumari and Thoothukudi districts of Tamil Nadu and asked them to verify his antecedents. We are waiting for details," Chandbali sub-divisional police officer Tarun Das said.
In January, a contractual employee of DRDO, Iswar Chandra Behera, was arrested on charge of supplying classified information to the Pakistan's spy agency Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI).
Police had arrested Behera, who worked as a videographer in ITR, after tracking his movement for two months. As a videographer, Behera had access to sensitive areas in two test ranges at Chandipur and Wheeler Island.