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Nambi Narayanan welcomes CBI probe in ISRO espionage case

- April 15, 2021

Thiruvananthapuram, April 15(BPNS)

Welcoming the Supreme Court direction to hold a CBI investigation into the role of police officers in the 1994 espionage case against him, former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientist Nambi Narayanan said the CBI must expose the conspirators behind the case.

“I’ll get justice only when action is taken based on the findings in the investigation. I had sought a CBI investigation earlier. There is no point if the conspirators in the case are not exposed. Many people are involved in the case and the role of IB officials should also be investigated,” he said.

“The espionage case and the conspiracy had in fact delayed the cryogenic project of the ISRO. The project which would have been launched in 1999 was delayed and launched around 15 years later. This should have been avoided,” he added.

The apex court ordered a CBI probe into the involvement of police officers in the conspiracy against Nambi Narayanan, while considering the Justice D K Jain report. The committee headed by D K Jain was formed to ascertain whether action needs to be taken against erring officials. It has submitted a report to the court.

As per the initial reports, the report will be forwarded to the CBI, but would not be released to the public. Speaking to the media, Sibi Mathews, a former cop who was accused of implicating Nambi Narayanan, said the Jain committee had submitted the report without recording their statements. He hoped the central agency would not do the same.

The ISRO spy case erupted in 1994 when Narayanan was arrested on charges of espionage along with another senior official of ISRO, two Maldivian women and a businessman. The CBI acquitted him in 1995 and since then he has been fighting a legal battle against the then top police officials including retired DGP Siby Mathews, S Vijayan and K K Joshua, who probed the case and implicated Narayanan.

The case had created a political storm in Kerala when the group war in Congress was at its peak. Later, the then Chief Minister K Karunakaran had to quit office in 1995 after reports that he was protecting his close aide and senior police officer Raman Srivastava, who later became the state police chief and police advisor to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.