A sweeper recently recovered what appears to be remnants of some dirty work at a lavatory inside Mantralaya. And we aren’t talking about an issue of sanitation, but one of security. Dumped inside the washroom on the fifth floor were a walkie-talkie, its batteries, and a projector. Taking serious note of the incident, cops have now written to the manufacturers of the equipment to get details of the owners.
After making the discovery on March 28, the sweeper informed the policemen deployed on the floor, presuming the apparatus belonged to them. Eventually, it was ascertained that the equipment was unclaimed.
“Neither the cops nor the protection and administration staff at Mantralaya claimed the equipment and hence the local police was called to take charge of them,” a source from Mantralaya said. Finally Mantralaya officials handed over the whole kit and caboodle to the Marine Drive police for further investigation. Marine Drive police has made a diary entry and seized the equipment. Sources from the Mantralaya revealed that officials have raised concern that the apparatus could have been used to lock on to the frequency of police walkie-talkies.
“We are still puzzled as to how a walkie-talkie and batteries reached inside the high-security Mantralaya. A major alert has been issued to the staff,” a police officer added.
When contacted, Zunjarao Gharal, senior police inspector from Marine Drive, said, “We have written to the manufacturer of the walkie-talkie and have requested him to give the name of the owner.” Police suspect the only way the things could reach inside Mantralaya is via a car of an MLA, as such vehicles are usually not checked. But this hypothesis raises questions on the compulsions of dumping the equipment as they can easily pass through the security again on the way out.
An ‘old flame’
This is not the first time Mantralaya’s security has been breached. In 2007, a man attempted to immolate himself outside the chief minister’s office on the sixth floor of the building after walking past three security checkpoints with a bottle of kerosene and a match-box.