NATIONAL

Cong. demands statement from PM on DRDO theft

NEW DELHI OCT. 10. The Congress today expressed shock over a report of theft of super-sensitive data from the premises of the Defence Research and Development Organisation's (DRDO) facility here and demanded a statement by the Prime Minister on the extent of damage to the nation's security. The party also demanded a probe by a joint team of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB) into the incident.

Referring to the theft at Metcalfe House here, it said the DRDO staff had detected the theft on October 6. "The enormity of the loss can be gauged from the fact that 17 to 19 computers were stolen. They were used by the Special Analysis Group and the Institute of System Studies and Analysis to process sensitive data," the party chief spokesperson, S. Jaipal Reddy, said.

The party said the stolen machines were later found discarded near the boundary walls of the DRDO facility. The missing hard disks contained secret encryption code for top defence communications and the lost data included vital information on the country's nuclear command-and-control systems.

Mr. Reddy said that in such an exigency, it was mandatory for the Defence Ministry to inform the RAW, IB and the External Affairs Ministry about the extent of loss of data.

"We are astonished to learn that these measures were not undertaken. As such, RAW, IB and the MEA were kept in the dark. As a result, our security forces on the border and diplomatic missions abroad have been rendered vulnerable," he said.