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'Mahalingam is not a scientist'

By Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore
Last updated on: June 12, 2009 23:18 IST
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Lokanath Mahalingam, an employee at Kaiga Atomic Power Station, who has been missing for the past four days, was not in possession of any classified information, said Nageshwar Rao, director of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited, Operations.

Rao told media persons at Karwar on Friday that Mahalingam was working in the training department which imparted knowledge on working of the project and skill development.

Earlier the media had reported that he was a scientist at Kaiga.

Rao dismissed reports that terrorists could have abducted Mahalingam to lay hands on classified information. Rao said that Mahalingam was serving as Scientific Officer-G and was not a scientist associated with Kaiga project.

Rao said that security at the plant is tight and there was no lapse.

Meanwhile, superintendent of police, Karwar, Raman Gupta said that three teams comprising the police, the Central Industrial Security Forces and the Forest Department officers have been formed to trace Mahalingam.

The team has been conducting search operations on the banks of river Kali. Dense forests and intermittent rains have hampered the search, he added.

Mahalingam had gone for a morning walk four days back. He never returned home, according to a complaint lodged by his family members.

The Kaiga nuclear plant is operated by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India and is situated near the Project Seabird one of the biggest naval bases in the country.

However, some of his colleagues at Kaiga point to the fact that he did not take his mobile phone or wallet. His colleagues told that there was no problem whatsoever work wise and he always seemed happy. The security guards at Kaiga too have told the police that they did not see him leave the campus that morning.

His colleagues, however, add that ten years back, Mahalingam had gone missing for five days. On his return when he was asked he reportedly told them that he had gone to seek spiritual solace. Based on this statement the police had dispatched teams to Tirupati and Dharmasthala to search for him.

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Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore