Kochi: Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam has defended the Padma honour accorded to ex-ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan after former Kerala police chief TP Senkumar questioned its basis.
"To talk against award winners is in the Malayali genes. The Padma Bhushan accorded to Nambi Narayanan should be seen as a recognition for all Keralites," Kannanthanam said in Kochi on Sunday.
However, Kannanthanam said that Senkumar had the freedom to express his comments, but was quick to clarify that the former top cop was not a BJP member.
Senkumar had earlier questioned the rationale behind picking the ex-scientist for the honour.
"What is Nambi Narayanan's contribution to the nation? He took voluntary retirement way back in 1995," Senkumar told reporters. "The Supreme Court is yet to completely acquit the former ISRO scientist in the espionage case. 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.
Responding to Senkumar's allegations, Narayanan said that the former DGP was talking rubbish. Narayanan said he was unaware whether Senkumar had any vested interest in raking up the issue now. He reminded that Senkumar was an accused in his plea seeking damages over the ISRO espionage case which hit the headlines in 1994.
The sensational case 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.
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