Rajeev Chandrasekhar, BJP MP from Bengaluru, has appealed to the Union government to find a way to honor former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan, by giving him a Padma award. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the MP also urged that erring officials who investigated the ISRO spy case, in which Nambi Narayanan had initially be charged but was later cleared of all charges, be booked.
The letter added the espionage case was not just one of a person being falsely accused, but also that of a brilliant scientist being humiliated, subjected to torture and found himself embroiled in a political conspiracy.
“Nambi Narayanan was a senior scientist at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), in-charge of the cryogenics division, making rapid progress in the field of liquid technology – a key technology in rocket propulsion that is being deployed in GSLV. He was one of the chief architects of the ‘Vikas’ engine that is at the heart of India’s rockets, the same ones that made missions like Chandrayaan and Mangalyaan possible and which will be involved in many more space voyages in future. Vikram Sarabhai, the father of Indian Space, put his trust in Narayanan and sent him to Princeton University for higher studies on rocket propulsion,” the letter says.
“He could have been the next pioneer in rocket propulsion and space technology. The arrest terrorized the entire ISRO community, which seemed to have been the primary purpose of those who had manufactured this false case against him. The SC has also formulated the Justice Jain Committee which will find out ways and means to take appropriate steps against the erring officials, something that the then Kerala government denied taking responsibility for. To pursue this responsibly and bring them to account,” Rajeev Chandrasekhar wrote.
Nambi Narayanan is a former ISRO space scientist. He was arrested in December 1994 after being accused of selling state secrets pertaining to confidential test data from rocket and satellite launches. He was charged with espionage and the case was transferred for investigation by the Intelligence Bureau. Nambi Narayanan was in custody for 50 days. After he was released, he said that the officials of IB who interrogated him wanted him to testify falsely against some of his superiors.
The Supreme Court, on September 14, directed the state government to pay compensation of Rs 50 lakh to him within eight weeks’ time.
The Kerala government on September 27 decided to pay the compensation.