Five months after it raised the spectre of Maoist guerrillas procuring night vision goggles, a National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe has concluded that it was a false alarm, sources told HT.
“The NIA probe has established that the night vision goggles which were to be mounted on self loading rifles were meant for the Bihar police and not for Maoists. An Indian company imported these goggles on the basis of forged end-user certificate of a state government and later supplied it to the Bihar police,” said a home ministry official.
In fact, the NIA told the home ministry that the CBI was better equipped to handle the case. But the home ministry worried over serious security repercussions of Maoists laying hands on night vision devices, persisted with a probe by the NIA.
According to sources, what led to the initial suspicion in the security establishment was the fact that the Indian company had forged documents to import these goggles from the US and the import order was big.
The NIA had registered an FIR in this regard in March this year against the Indian company on the charges of illegal procurement of the goggles for suspected supply to Maoists. The FIR was registered under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
“Since the night vision goggles were meant for law-enforcing agencies, any company importing them needs an end-user certificate so that they don’t reach in the hands of terrorists or extremists groups. Therefore the company forged the end-user certificate. The NIA is most likely to file a chargesheet for forgery and related sections of the IPC only,” said the source.
Now the NIA is looking into the tender issued by the Bihar police for procurement of night vision devices to see what forced the Indian company to forge the end-user certificate.