• Saturday, July 20, 2024

INDIA

Man arrested in Gujarat for posing as ISRO scientist involved in Chandrayaan-3 mission

The accused, Mitul Trivedi, who is in his late 30s, impersonated as an ISRO scientist to draw more students to his tuition classes in the city, officials said.

People watch a live stream aired by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) website at the Nehru Science Centre in Mumbai on August 23, 2023, minutes before the successful lunar landing of Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft on the south pole of the Moon. India on August 23, became the first nation to land a craft near the Moon’s south pole, a historic triumph for the world’s most populous nation and its ambitious, cut-price space programme. (Photo by Punit PARANJPE / AFP) (Photo by PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

A PRIVATE tutor who allegedly posed as a scientist with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which successfully landed a mission on moon rcently, and gave interviews to the media in Surat in the western state of Gujarat claiming he designed the lander module for the Chandrayaan-3 mission, has been arrested, officials said.

The accused, Mitul Trivedi, who is in his late 30s, impersonated as an ISRO scientist to draw more students to his tuition classes in the city, they added.

He was arrested on Tuesday (29).

A complaint was lodged against Trivedi after he was seen giving interviews to the local media since the Vikram lander successfully made a soft touch down on the lunar surface on August 23, claiming to have designed the module of Chandrayaan-3, one of the officials said.

Trivedi allegedly posed as the “assistant chairman” of ISRO’s “Ancient Science Application department” and even produced a fake appointment letter dated February 26, 2022, to support his credentials, he said.

“A thorough investigation revealed that the man was in no way connected to ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3 mission and had made false claims of being an ISRO employee,” the police said in a statement.

He even produced a fake letter about being the “space research member” for ISRO’s next project called “mercury force in space”, it said. He spread fake messages regarding the ISRO despite not having contributed to the ambitious project, thereby harming the reputation of the Bengaluru-headquartered institution, the statement read.

The Surat city crime branch lodged an FIR (first information report) against the accused under Indian Penal Code sections 419 (cheating by impersonation), 465 (forgery), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (using forged document as genuine), it stated.

Additional commissioner of police Sharad Singhal said Trivedi is a private tutor, who posed as an ISRO scientist before the media to attract more students to his tuition classes.

“We contacted the ISRO which said that prima facie the letter shown by the accused was not issued by it. The space agency will send a detailed reply to us soon,” he said.

Asked why Trivedi posed as a scientist, Singhal said the accused runs tuition classes and making such a claim would have helped him attract more students. “He claimed to possess BCom and MCom degrees,” the police officer said.

(With PTI inputs)

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