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Contradictions shadow Kaiga investigations

November 30, 2009 21:29 IST
Contradictory reports have been making the rounds regarding the controversy surrounding the Kaiga incident of 55 workers falling ill after drinking contaminated water at the nuclear plant. While the Kaiga authorities claim that a list of names of casual contract labourers have been submitted to the police, the police on the other hand have said that no formal complaint has been lodged with them as yet.

Meanwhile, questioning of several persons within the plant continued. The investigators within the plant have narrowed it down to the casual contract employees and say that these persons could have carried out the mischief.

Even as the Kaiga authorities claim that a list of these employees have been handed over, the police maintain that no formal complaint has been lodged. The police however have gathered information 'on their own' and say that it does appear to be a case of sabotage. It looks more like a case of mischief or negligence, the police maintained.

But the Intelligence Bureau rules out a terror link: a team of the IB which has been camping at Kaiga since the past few days have ruled out the possibility of an external source behind the incident. An IB official, who was present at the plant, told rediff.com that there are no instances to show that it is an act of terror. It is a clear case of negligence or mischief aimed at embarrassing senior officials at the Kaiga, the IB maintains.

Probe on

Meanwhile, the ongoing internal probe has narrowed it down to being the job of an insider. An official said that the issue of a CCTV not being present near the water cooler will not be much of an issue, since the computer access control system has a record of all employees, and through this it would be easy to find out as to who had entered into the operating island.

The investigators had to go through the data of 5000 casual contract workers and finally narrowed it down to 10 members who could be behind the incident.

Sources at the plant also said that some of the members could have been disgruntled and hence may have resorted to such an act. Some of these contract labourers were unhappy with the new performance linked incentive scheme. There had been voices of discontent in the past and this could have been a way of taking revenge on senior employees, sources added.

Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru