Woman Posing as ISRO Scientist Held

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Bangalore – A 42-year-old woman has been arrested for posing as a scientist and intruding into Indian space agency’s high-security satellite centre here, police said Monday.
Buela M. Sam from Ahmedabad was held Sep 22 for posing as a senior scientist of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and entering its guest house with a fake identity card Sep 20, deputy commissioner of police (east) Krishna Bhat told IANS here.

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which guards high-profile sensitive installations across the city, grew suspicious when the woman tried to enter the ISRO headquarters Sep 21 and took her into custody after the administration confirmed there was no woman scientist by her name at its Ahmedabad space centre in Gujarat.

Bhat said a case of intrusion into the high-security zone had been registered against the woman under sections 448 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for trespassing and forging documents.

She has been sent to 14-day judicial custody till Oct 6.

The woman’s husband, Alex Thomas (45), a teacher, told the police she was under depression and mentally challenged.

Bhat said they were interrogating the couple to ascertain the motive behind her intrusion into a sensitive area where entry was very difficult though she told the police that she came to Bangalore to attend a space conference.

According to the first information report (FIR), the woman had been to Poonoor in Kollam district of Kerala last week to attend the last rites of a relative and arrived in Bangalore Sep 19 on her way back to Ahmedabad.

“We are investigating whether a room was booked in the ISRO guest house for the woman and by whom when she was not even an employee,” Bhat said.

Police are also interrogating CISF personnel to ascertain if there was a security breach since she stayed in the guest house for two days.

ISRO officials, who remained clueless about the incident till a police complaint was lodged Saturday, declined to share details, since CISF provided security to its facilities in the country.

“It is a security issue. Police are investigating the case to find out if there is a security lapse on CISF’s part and those in charge of the guest house,” an official told IANS but declined to respond to queries on the incident.

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