Lucknow, May 30: A theft in the state secretariat, which houses the offices of the Uttar Pradesh chief minister and chief secretary, has sent the Mulayam Singh Yadav government into a tizzy.
The break-in, in one of the most guarded buildings in the state, was detected yesterday around 4 pm by a security guard, but the theft seems to have occurred on Saturday night.
A computer and an unspecified number of key files relating to irrigation, agriculture and rural development have been stolen.
The thieves broke the locks of nine rooms belonging to the agriculture production commissioner’s department on the ground floor of the secretariat’s Annexe Building. The chief minister’s and chief secretary’s offices are located on the upper floors.
The thieves are believed to have stayed in the rooms for about an hour on Saturday night before taking away the files and the computer.
The secretariat is closed on Saturdays. On Sundays, a vigil is maintained outside the building but there are hardly any security checks inside as the offices are closed. On a customary check, the security guard noticed that the gate on the ground floor had a broken lock, which set him to inspect the rooms on the floor.
The state government has suspended nine security personnel and shifted a senior IPS officer in charge of security. A probe has also been ordered.
No other gadget, like the air conditioners, or the fans and furniture were tampered with, hinting that the intruders were looking for only specific files.
Venkatachalam, the principal secretary, secretariat administration, said he was trying to find out which files have been stolen. “We have asked for a report from police in connection with the case. The investigation is on. After we receive the report, we will bring about some change in the security system,” he said.
Senior officers are mum on exactly how many files are missing and what they are related to but have hinted that the theft could not have taken place without the help of an insider.
The buzz in the secretariat is that the break-in could be related to a foodgrain scam or corruption charges involving senior officers.
The state CID is probing the corruption charges but the high court has asked the state to hand over the case to the CBI.