Thiruvananthapuram: A day after ex-ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan was picked for the prestigious Padma Bhushan award, a war of words broke out with a former state police chief questioning the rationale behind the choice.
"What is Nambi Narayanan's contribution to the nation? He took voluntary retirement way back in 1995," former Kerala Police chief TP Senkumar told reporters.
"The Supreme Court is yet to completely acquit the former ISRO scientist in the espionage case. There is lot of difference between truth and what is being projected as truth. The case was not properly investigated," he alleged.
"Those who picked him for award should explain why he was picked. Now even Govindachamy (convicted in Soumya rape case) and Ameer-ul Islam (accused in Jisha rape-murder case) can be given the honour,” he said mockingly.
Responding to Senkumar's allegations, Nambi Narayanan said that the former DGP was talking rubbish.
"The ISRO case is over. The SC has appointed a panel to find out the erring officials. If Senkumar has data to prove otherwise, he can submit it to the panel," the former scientist said.
Nambi Narayanan said he was unaware whether Senkumar had any vested interest in raking up the issue now.
The espionage case, which hit the headlines in 1994, pertained to allegations of transfer of certain confidential documents on India's space programme to foreign countries by two scientists and four others, including two Maldivian women. Narayanan had to spend close to two months in jail before the CBI concluded the allegations against him were false. The apex court had on September 14, 2018, ordered a probe into the role of the Kerala Police in the case and awarded Rs 50 lakh as compensation to Narayanan.
Read more: latest Kerala news