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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

Theft in INS Vikrant in Cochin shipyard triggers fears of security breach

The Kerala Police have registered a case following the theft but the Navy played it down and denied that it was a security breach.

india Updated: Sep 18, 2019 19:14 IST
Ramesh Babu
Ramesh Babu
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
Aircraft carrier INS Vikrant is being built at the Cochin Shipyard Limited  in Kerala.
Aircraft carrier INS Vikrant is being built at the Cochin Shipyard Limited in Kerala.(HT PHOTO)

Computer parts including hard disks and random access memory cards were reportedly stolen from India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant being built at the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) in Kochi raising fears of a major security breach, a senior official said.

The CSL official said a multi-agency probe has started into the theft. The Kerala police also registered a case on Monday after the CSL general manager filed a complaint.

Kerala’s Director General of Police Loknath Behra has confirmed the theft but refused to give details saying the investigation was at a preliminary stage.

The Indiana Navy’s southern naval command in Kochi played down the issue saying it was not a security breach.

According to reports emanating from the CSL, four hard disks, random access memory cards and a processor were stolen after dismantling four computers which were installed in the ship. The shipyard authorities have no idea when the incident took place but it was noticed on Sunday. Officials said there were no camera inside the ship as the work was going on.

The theft came to light when some of the systems did not function during a test. The Central Industrial Security Force which guards the outer periphery of the shipyard also began its investigation, said the official. The theft might have been committed by some insiders, he said.

India’s first indigenously built aircraft carrier is expected to be commissioned in 2021. Work for the aircraft carrier began in 2009 at the CSL, the country’s largest ship-building and maintenance facility in Kochi.

First Published: Sep 18, 2019 19:05 IST

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