KOCHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is likely to take over the probe into the theft on aircraft carrier Vikrant at Cochin Shipyard from the state police following calls from various corners to look into various angles, including espionage. State Police Chief Loknath Behera told TNIE the NIA has been in discussion with the Kerala Police about the case and a decision will soon be taken to hand over the case to the national agency. “A few technical issues with regard to handing over the case to the NIA need to be sorted out. We’ll take a call soon,” said Behera.
The stolen hard drives contain data on Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS), which is used in ships and submarines for real-time monitoring and control of the vessel’s hull, mechanical, electrical and damage-control machinery and systems. As they were developed by Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL), in association with Italy’s GE-Avio, the state police probe team has sought the support of the Bengaluru-based BHEL, which has already taken up an assessment study to rectify the damage.
“We’re expecting the technical team from Italy to join the assessment,” said an officer. “Once the NIA takes over the probe, the case will be re-registered and relevant IPC sections added.”Currently, a simple theft case has been registered under Sections 457 (trespassing to commit offence), 461 (dishonestly breaking open receptacle containing property) and IPC 380 (theft) against unidentified persons in connection with the incident.