Security breach at ISRO, woman posing as scientist arrested

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 - 00:02

Bangalore: A 41-year-old woman created a scare after she breached layers of security to gain entry into the headquarters of Indian Space Research Organisation here using a fake identity before being arrested, ISRO sources said.

Presenting the fake ID, Buela M Sam from Ahmedabad stayed at the ISRO Satellite Centre guest-house at Jeevanbheema Nagar here for two days from September 19.
Two days later, she also gained entry into the high- security "Anthariksh Bhavan", the ISRO headquarters, they said.

ISRO sources said she may not have swiped her card to enter as requried. In all probability, she may have just waved her card to the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel, who apparently allowed her in around 11 am on September 21.

She roamed around in the building premises for four hours before some ISRO staff grew suspicious and reported the matter to the security, they said.

"Her behaviour was inconsistent. She behaved like a mentally ill person. Only an inquiry will reveal if she is actually mentally ill or she was pretending", an ISRO official said.

CISF personnel questioned her but her answers were totally inconsistent. Intelligence bureau sleuths questioned her the next day but could not get consistent response from her.

Her fake card said she worked at "ISRO Mangalore", while the space agency has no unit there.

Inquiries revealed that that she is from Ahmedabad, from where her husband, Alexander, was summoned and questioned. During interrogation, he claimed that his wife is "mentally ill" and the family was unaware that she had travelled to Bangalore, the sources said.

Key question as to how she gained entry using a fake card remains unanswered. A case was registered at Jeevanbheema Nagar police station. Buela has been remanded to judicial custody till October six. An enquiry is in progress.

An ISRO official denied that an important meeting was taking place at ISRO headquaters when she intruded.

City Police Commissioner Jyotiprakash Mirji said she
was arrested after she attempted to enter the ISRO headquarters on the pretext of attending a conference.

He told PTI that CISF personnel at the gate grew suspicious when the woman enquired about the conference, which was not scheduled for the day. After a preliminary inquiry, she was handed over to police.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Krishna Bhat said "There was no security breach."

He said the woman had also been booked under IPC sections 471 (using as genuine a forged document), 420 (cheating) and 490 (breach of contract of service during voyage or journey).

ISRO Director Deviprasad Karnik said "an internal investigation has been initiated."

Another official said the woman had visited Kollam in Kerala to attend the last rites of her father on September 19 and arrived here the same night.

She had got the fake ID card done at a photo studio in Kollam, he said.


First Published: Monday, September 24, 2012 - 13:01

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