BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to honour former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan with a Padma Award or a similar recognition, acknowledging his struggle. Terming the case against the scientist and his arrest as a “shameful chapter in our country’s history much like Emergency,” Chandrasekhar said that even though the Supreme Court has exonerated Narayanan, the abuse and humiliation meted out to him cannot be restored alone by the verdict and a compensation of Rs 50 lakh to him. He also requested the Government of India “to ensure that the process of justice is completed by pursuing those that are responsible and holding them to account.”
In his letter to PM Modi, the BJP MP slammed the then Congress government for meting out “apathy and abuse” to an esteemed scientist, whose arrest had “terrorised the entire ISRO community.”
“The arrest of Narayanan, terrorised the entire ISRO community which seemed to have been the primary purpose of those who had manufactured this false case against him. This apathy and abuse meted out to an esteemed scientist by the then Congress government was shameful and unforgivable,” wrote Rajeev Chandrasekhar in the letter.
BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar also said that it not just a case of a person being falsely accused but also about a scientist being subjected to torture and humiliation “at the behest of some police officers and the then government”.
“Regretfully, this is not just a case of a person being falsely accused in a case as stated by the Supreme Court of India, it is also about a brilliant scientist being humiliated, subjected to third degree torture at the behest of some Police officers, then apathetic government and its political conspiracy,” wrote the BJP MP.
Chandrasekhar then went on to say that the fact that a “reputed scientist can become a pawn in a political conspiracy and have his reputation and career callously destroyed by those in power raises serious questions about that period.”
Nambi Narayanan, who was a senior scientist and in-charge of the cryogenics division at the ISRO, was arrested on November 30, 1994, on allegations of espionage. Narayanan was accused of selling vital defence secrets to Maldives. The Supreme Court, however, on September 14, absolved Nambi Narayanan of the charges and said the former ISRO scientist was “unfairly arrested and harassed”.
Narayanan had approached the apex court against the Kerala High Court’s judgment which stated that no action was required against officers associated with the investigation — former DGP Siby Mathews and former SPs K K Joshua and S Vijayan. Narayanan had accused the Kerala Police and IB of torturing and extracting statements from him.
The Supreme Court in its September 14 verdict, had also directed the formation of ‘Justice Jain Committee’ to probe the allegations against the cops in the ISRO spy case.