Lokanathan Mahalingam, 48, the senior scientific officer at the Training Centre of the Kaiga Atomic Energy Station, 600 km north west of Bangalore, who has been missing since Monday (June 8) did not have access to any of the country’s nuclear secrets.
The top brass of the Nuclear Power Corporation Limited (NPCL), which operates the Kaiga plant, and the police, are, therefore, ruling out the possibility of his disappearance being connected to his job.
Addressing a press conference at the atomic power station, C Nageswara Rao, director (operations), NPCL, said Mahalingam knew only about operating systems and equipment installed at Kaiga plant.
“This information is available on our website. I would like to clarify that he was not carrying any secret information on India’s nuclear facilities,” he said.
NPCL also issued a statement clarifying that Mahalingam’s responsibility at the atomic power station was limited to training personnel in routine operations and maintenance. “He does not have any access to sensitive documents,” it said.
The police also dismissed speculation about Mahalingam being kidnapped. “We have looked at it (prospect of abduction) in great detail, but have not found any evidence so far. But we are confident of a breakthrough because we have intensified the search in the township and neighbouring zones, said Gopal Hosur, IG (Western Range).
Mahalingam’s colleagues have volunteered to join the search teams.
The engineer disappeared under mysterious circumstances after he stepped out for an early morning stroll on Monday. His wife Vinayaka Sundari lodged a complaint with the local police (Mallapura Township) when colleagues and neighbours could not find him anywhere on the campus or at work.