INS Vikrant hard disc theft case: Probe begins

INS Vikrant hard disc theft case: Probe begins

Agency News

A probe has begun into the stealing of hard discs from INS Vikrant docked at Cochin Shipyard Limited(CSL).

While CSL has made no official comment on the matter, sources said a police team was in place there to probe the matter. A special investigation team has been formed. It is looking at visuals of the CCTV cameras in the shipyard. However, sources said there were no cameras inside the ship.

The Union Home Ministry took the stand that theft and vandalism was because of “an internal matter and a possible insider job". A major breach of national security has happened at the Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) with the stealing of a hard disk, a multi function control processor and a few computers in the indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant.

In fact, the security at such Central institutions is under the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). Officials said the CISF responsible for manning the dock to keep tab of "any suspicious movement or possible terror activity". However, since a private security agency had been authorised to take care of security at the construction site in the dock, the probe was now in the hands of the state police.

The theft could have happened sometime during the weekend as the systems failed to function during the initial trials. Shipyard officials informed the police immediately and also launched an internal probe.

The disk could contain sensitive information crucial for national security. Police are looking at the insider angle as the possibility of someone from outside making it to the CSL has been initially ruled out. This is because there is double security check by CISF and the private agency.

The vessel is to be handed over to the Navy sometime after 2020 and before 2022.