KOCHI: The police have arrested three relatives of an Afghanistan national who had illegally stayed and worked at sensitive security establishment Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) when the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) was under construction.
Considering it as a grave security lapse, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is also carrying out a preliminary probe before taking over the investigation.
Idgul, alias Abbas Khan, 24, was arrested by Ernakulam South police in July this year following a complaint by CSL authorities that the person with a fake identity document had worked at the establishment since 2019.
The police investigation revealed that Idgul was an Afghan who arrived in India on a medical visa. His mother is from Assam who married an Afghanistan national and had been staying there for the past two-and-a-half decades.
After his arrival in Assam, he managed to get a fake school certificate using which he received an Aadhaar card before travelling to Kochi to join work at CSL under a contractor who had also employed his uncles who are Indian citizens.
After conducting an investigation, the police last week arrested his three uncles who helped him in arranging fake documents and work under the contractor at CSL. They are Habib Ul Rahman, Shiya Ul Rahman and Mushfiq Ul Rahman.
"The arrested persons are brothers of the Afghanistan national's mother hailing from Assam and who were working at CSL. Though they knew Idgul is an Afghan, they abetted the crime by arranging to stay and work at a sensitive place like CSL. One of the arrested relatives also helped Idbul get the fake document and Aadhaar card. The three are in judicial custody," a police officer said.
The Kochi police have found that proper police verification of persons employed under contractors at CSL could have avoided such an incident which happened just less than two years after sensitive computer hardware of the IAC was found stolen and two persons were arrested after a year-long attempt by NIA.
The police have also referred the case to NIA considering the national security aspect involved.During the probe, the police learnt that Idgul had also stayed in Pakistan for several years. "His Pakistan link requires a more detailed probe considering which we have referred the matter to NIA. We have come to know that NIA is conducting a preliminary inquiry into the incident. The national agency had questioned Idbul when he was arrested. Though the espionage angle is yet to be clear, a probe by NIA is preferred in the case," a senior city police officer said.
Grave security lapse
Idgul, alias Abbas Khan, 24, was arrested by Ernakulam South police in July this year following a complaint by CSL authorities that the person with a fake identity document had worked at the establishment since 2019. The police investigation revealed that Idgul was an Afghan who arrived in India on a medical visa.