Correspondent

Karwar: Intelligence agencies had warned the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) authorities about possible threats to the security of the Kaiga power plant.

Raman Gupta, Superintendent of Police, Uttar Kannada had written on two occasions to the officials in charge of the security of the plant conveying the concerns of intelligence agencies.

In letters written on 23-03-09 and 08-07-09 to the Station director of the Kaiga project and other officials of NPCL, Mr. Gupta drew their attention to the intelligence warning that bitter inter-union rivalry posed a danger to the security of the nuclear installation.

“Contacts and connections”

The authorities were asked to investigate the reasons for the rivalry and the “contacts and connections” of the union leaders. They were asked to declare a five km stretch of the Kali river as a No Fishing Zone to prevent outsiders from coming near the nuclear plant in the guise of fishermen.

The agencies had expressed concern at the poor lighting arrangements and low height of the compound walls of the sensitive establishment, warning about the possibility of unauthorised entry of people disguised as workers or labourers into the security zone. Terrorists could enter high security zones in the guise of vehicle drivers to cause sabotage, they had warned.

Asked about the veracity of these warnings, Station Director of the Kaiga Power Project, J.P. Gupta told The Hindu that intelligence inputs about the security of the plant are routinely received. He agreed that there is inter-union rivalry but said he did not think that unions would cause harm to the plant as they are part of the organisation.

NPCIL files complaint

The NPCIL has filed a police complaint in connection with the “mischief” played by unidentified persons at the plant.

The complaint was filed by Senior Superintendent Umamaheshwar at the Mallapur police station on Tuesday night.

According to the complaint, some unidentified persons tried to cause health hazard to other employees by mixing tritium in a drinking water cooler in the plant. The incident might have occurred between 10 p.m. on November 23 and 4 p.m. on November 24, the complaint said.

The Mallapur police have filed an FIR under various sections of the Indian Penal Code — 277 (fouling water of public spring or reservoir), 278 (making atmosphere noxious to health), 320 (grievous hurt), 336 (endangering the life or personal safety of others), 425 (mischief) and 440 (mischief committed after preparation made for causing death or hurt).

Mr. Raman Gupta has formed a special team to investigate the matter.

At a press conference here on Wednesday, he said the investigation would be carried out from different angles, including whether it was an accident or intentional work of disgruntled employees.

Replying to a question, Mr. Gupta said the police would seek the help of Central agencies and NPCIL experts to find out how tritium was mixed with the water.

Asked whether the delay in filing the police complaint would result in the escape of culprits, Mr. Gupta said everything was under investigation.

To a question that the sections under which the FIR had been filed were meant for bailable offences, he said stringent sections could be added, if necessary. Did a nexus between some union leaders of the Kaiga employees association and the contractors of the area lead to the entry of some skilled Bangladeshi workers into the reactor building? Mr. Gupta said such a possibility was remote.