BrahMos Aerospace engineer Nishant Agrawal files for bail

Nagpur, Jul 15 (PTI) A BrahMos Aerospace engineer, who is accused of passing off sensitive information to Pakistan spy agency ISI, Monday filed a bail application before a court here claiming he did not possess any such information and only had some study material on his laptop. In his plea, Nishant Agrawal claimed that neither did he possess any secret information, nor did he pass it on to any Pakistani spies as alleged by prosecution. Agrawal, a senior systems engineer in Brahmos Aerospace facility in Nagpur, was arrested on October 8, 2018 in a joint operation by Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra Anti- Terrorism Squad (ATS) from Brahmos Aerospace in Nagpur. Appearing for Agrawal, defence counsel Prakash Jaiswal contented that the prosecution's allegation that a spy from Pakistant was operating two Facebook accounts with whom the engineer was in touch with, cannot be verified. He said the director of Brahmos had said in his reply that there was no specific information given to Agrawal which could have been forwarded by him to others. "Moreover, all the laptops and computers in Brahmos have an in-built technology which could not be copied, which means Agrawal could not have forwarded any information," he said. Jaiswal told the court that the accused did not have any secret information and what he stored in his laptop was the study material that he had received after joining Brahmos in 2013. Agrawal had been a meritorious student and even received the youngest engineer award by Brahmos in 2017-18, he said. It is alleged that Agrawal was in contact with two Facebook accounts -- 'Neha Sharma' and 'Pooja Ranjan' -- suspected to be operated by Pakistani intelligence agents. He has been booked under the Official Secrets Act. BrahMos Aerospace is a joint venture between India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the 'Military Industrial Consortium' (NPO Mashinostroyenia) of Russia. Agrawal is currently lodged in Nagpur Central Jail. Prosecution lawyer is expected to present his arguments in coming days. PTI CLS NSK AAR