ISRO espionage case: CBI books ex-cops under scanner for Nambi Narayanan's frame-up

Nambi Narayanan
Nambi Narayanan

Thiruvananthapuram: A Supreme Court-mandated probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to unravel the suspected plot of a few police personnel to falsely implicate former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan is set to pick up the pace with the filing of First Information Report at the Chief Magistrate Court here, a month after the agency registered the case in this regard. In all, there are 18 accused, including the then Pettah police station Circle Inspector S Vijayan and then SIT chief Siby Mathews.

Vijayan is the accused number 1 as per the FIR. All the accused are either former personnel of the Kerala Police or the Intelligence Bureau.

The accused no 2 is Thampi S Durgadutt who was the SI of the Pettah station in the state capital.

V R Rajeevan, who was then the Trivandrum City Police Commissioner, is the accused no: 3.

Siby Mathews is accused no: 4. He later retired as the Director General of Police. 

RB Sreekumar, the ex-deputy director of the Intelligence Bureau, is the accused no. 7.

Apex court action on Narayanan's plaint

The Supreme Court, on April 15, had directed the CBI to conduct further investigation into the allegations that the police had foisted false charges on Narayanan. The order was based on the findings of a three-member committee under retired apex court judge Justice DK Jain.

Narayanan had approached the Supreme Court seeking action against Kerala police officials. The CBI had earlier given a clean chit to Narayanan after the initial cases against him were handed over to it.

Narayanan, the then director of the cryogenic project at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), along with the then ISRO deputy director D Sasikumaran, were arrested by the Kerala Police in 1994 for allegedly selling secret official documents to Pakistan through a Maldivian woman, Rasheeda.

The others arrested along with them were Rasheeda and Fousiya Hasan, her Maldivian friend.

The police had registered two cases at Thiruvananthapuram's Vanchiyoor police station in October and November, 1994, against Rasheeda on charges of staying in the country beyond visa limits and espionage. She was arrested by Vijayan for allegedly obtaining secret drawings of ISRO rocket engines in order to sell them to Pakistan.

Narayanan had said the Kerala police had "fabricated" the case and the technology he was accused to have stolen and sold in the 1994 case did not even exist at that time.

The controversy during the rule of the Congress-led UDF government in Kerala had assumed political colour, leading to the resignation of Chief Minister K Karunakaran.

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