An espionage angle to the missing of vital computer device from the indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant, under construction at Cochin Shipyard is being probed, according to reports.
Union Minister of State for Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya is, it is learnt, rushing to the shipyard building the country's first indigenous aircraft carrier. The Centre has reportedly told the shipyard that such an espionage twist should also be probed.
Sources said that the material stolen was of little relevance to the ordinary citizen of the country which lends support to the espionage angle.
Since it was a private security agency manning the construction site when the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) was providing security cover, the matter was being probed by the local police which has already formed a special investigation team for this. However, taking into account the seriousness of the breach, teams from the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Home Affairs were expected to land in Kochi very soon.
Police have been questioning workers at the site and also checking their antecedents. The vessel, vital as far as the country's defence is concerned as it is the first and rarest of the 40,000-tonne type. There could have been details of ship design in the device.
A top source said there was no likelihood of the stolen device to containing any strategic defence material as the vessel had not been inducted into the Navy which would happen only around 2021.