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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2524

Kaiga Atomic scientist’s mysterious disappearance

From Gopal Ethiraj

Karwar (Karnataka), 13 June (asiantribune.com):Karwar police and the Central Industrial Security Force’s are involved in a search operation for L. Mahalingam, the Kaiga Atomic Power Station scientist, who went missing on Monday morning, yielding no results, the Intelligence Bureau, too, has joined the search, with “all actionable information” it has on the scientist.

[caption id="attachment_69" align="alignright" width="284" caption="L. Mahalingham"]L. Mahalingham[/caption]

They are combing through some 300 hectares of dense forest, but have got no clues so far. Television news channels are abuzz with theories of abduction and nuclear espionage.

Mahalingam worked in the Simulator Training Division of the Kaiga atomic power station and reportedly made simulator devices. A top scientist, dismissing fears of sensitive nuclear information leaking out says, "It’s highly unlikely that this man has been kidnapped – he was not in the ‘inner circle’ and, given our system, he had access only to information related to his limited domain. Certainly, zero access to any weapons-related information."

But local police think the case could be much simpler. "Mahalingam suffered from heart disease. Strolling beside the Kali River, there’s a possibility he suffered a heart attack, fell into the waters and was washed away."

"It’s unlikely he was abducted. He was not a regular morning walker, so nobody knew he would go out for a walk that morning. Also, he is not reported to have ever received any threatening call or mail, and reportedly has no enemies" according to police, who are also not ruling out suicide due to alleged family problems. A police team visited his house and interacted with his wife Vinayak Sundari and 17-year-old daughter Malvika.

"They are not forthcoming with much information maybe because they are disturbed, but we also cannot rule out family problems. We are trying to verify the mental state in which he left home on Monday," police sources said.

Colleagues said that Mahalingam was an introvert, with few friends. Though the area was abuzz with speculation that Mahalingam may have been abducted, police discounted the theory. What perhaps lent credence to the theory of abduction was that five years ago, some people with sophisticated arms accosted an official of the Nuclear Power Corporation in the same forest and tried to kidnap him. The official, however, escaped.

Mahalingam's colleagues said about 10 years ago, when he was working at the Kalpakkam atomic station, he had disappeared for five days. On his return, he reportedly said he had gone to seek spiritual solace. Believing that he had done so this time too, the police have sent teams to Tirupati, Dharmasthala and other religious places. But Indrajith, Mahalingam’s brother, refuted reports about Mahalingam disappearing in a similar fashion and returning around 10 years ago.

About six weeks ago, another NPC non-technical employee Ravi, was found dead in the township. He too had gone for morning walk. Police have not cracked the case so far.

- Asian Tribune -

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