Former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan who was accused in the infamous ISRO espionage case has demanded a fresh probe in the case.
He put forward the demand while speaking at the launch of his autobiography 'Ormakalude Bhramanapathadham' (In the Orbit of Memories) at the Thiruvanathapuram Press Club on Wednesday evening.
The 76-year-old, who has been fighting a legal battle to get compensation in the case for years, said the CBI which had probed the case had come to the conclusion that it was a false case. "What the CBI said was that it was a false case. Not that it is not proved. False means it was fabricated by someone. There must be a motive for fabricating a case. I suspect there are people outside the country behind it,” he said.
"What I have lost is gone, nothing can be recovered. What the government needs to do is simple; order a fresh probe in the case and subject the suspect to one-tenth the torture that I have gone through, then the truth will come out", he said.
MP Shashi Tharoor who launched the book said that the false espionage case is deeply shameful and painful. "India has betrayed itself in it," he said.
The MP added, "I genuinely believe that it could happen again in the country. We still have opportunist politicians, media that is keen on increasing TRP ratings and careerist officials who are not being guided by the larger truth. That is the biggest weakness of our society today", he said.
Tharoor added, “The biography is not solely the story of Nambi Narayanan, but that of the growth of ISRO as well. He could have chosen to stay back in America after studying in Princeton University. But he choose the less paying option to serve his country. However, the man who made great contributions to the country was arrested, interrogated and subjected to inhuman and humiliating treatment. He might have been come to known as the father of Indian space technology if his career was not ruined.”
The book was received by Asianet editor MG Radhakrishnan.
The spy case
Mariam Rasheeda, a Maldives native, was the first to be arrested in the case on October 20, 1994, for overstaying in Kerala and she was found to be connected with ISRO scientist D Sasikumar. Later, her friend Fauzia Hassan, was also arrested.
A Special Investigation Team led by former DGP Siby Mathews took over the case on November 15, 1994.
SIT arrested Nambi Narayanan, Chandrasekharan and SK Sharam who were businessmen based in Bengaluru. They were accused of selling ISRO's cryogenic programme secrets to the women who were allegedly acting as spies for Russia, ISI and others.
The case was handed over to the CBI on November 28, 1994.
CBI submitted its final report to the chief judicial magistrate in April 1996 saying that the case lacked evidence to substantiate the charges. All the six accused were subsequently acquitted by the court.
Nambi Narayanan, is one among the six accused in the case. He has been fighting a legal battle against Siby Mathews, accusing him of falsely implicating him in the case.
In 2015, he moved the Supreme Court seeking criminal and disciplinary action against Siby Mathews and other police officials of the SIT.