Laptop, pen drive stolen from high-security MEA

Thieves have struck at the ministry of external affairs adjoining the Prime Minister’s Office in the high-security South Block in Delhi [ Images ], decamping with the laptop and pen drive of a senior official, besides attempting to break into two rooms.

The incident comes two months after the theft of a hard disk was reported from the home ministry in North Block. In November last year, a computer was stolen from the same room in the home ministry.

The fresh theft and break-in attempts came to light last Saturday when the MEA reported to the police that Deputy Secretary Amit Narang’s laptop and pen drive were found missing from his room 235-I, the police said on Monday.

In the complaint, the MEA also said that another official Shipra Ghosh, also a deputy secretary, reported that break-in attempts were made in room number 235-G and 235-H, which were adjacent to his office.

The South Block and North Block have round-the-clock security by the Central Industrial Security Force and access to the offices in the building is controlled.

A case of theft has been registered and investigators are in the process of examining CCTV footage. Investigators said they suspect the role of an insider in the theft.

In January this year, Ishwar Mahto, an assistant in the home ministry’s Hindi department, had complained to the police that unidentified men had stolen the hard disk of his office computer, two months after the very same machine’s monitor was stolen.

Following the theft, it was made mandatory for security personnel manning the home ministry to check the baggage going out of the building. Earlier, only the baggage being taken inside were checked through X-Ray machines.

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