Former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientist Nambi Narayanan has been awarded Padma Bhushan for his exemplary service to the nation. However, reacting to the NDA government’s decision to award Narayanan, Former Kerala DGP TP Senkumar has said that even rapists could get an award in the future, reported The News Minute.
In shocking statements, former Kerala DGP has criticised the decision to award the former ISRO scientist with Padma Bhushan, while resorting to derogatory abuse and comparing Narayanan with rape and murder convicts. Senkumar went on to claim that giving Narayanan that award was like “a drop of poison in the nectar.”
As soon as the name of Nambi Narayan was announced in the list of Padma awardees, Senkumar seemed to be upset and resorted to cheap slur against the scientist saying, “If this goes on, next year, we might hear about Govindachamy (rape and murder convict), Amirul Islam (rape and murder convict) and Mariam Rasheeda (another falsely accused in the ISRO spy scandal) getting Padma awards.”
Senkumar further said that Narayanan should have not been considered for the award as a one-man commission appointed by the Supreme Court is yet to give its decision on the ISRO spy case.
“What is his contribution to the country? He was an average scientist and he took retirement from the ISRO on his own. I would have been happy if the award was bestowed on a young scientist. I was really shocked to hear the announcement,” he said.
Nambi Narayanan had run into a huge controversy during the 1990s when he was arrested on spying charges. He was heading the cryogenic division of the ISRO when he and another scientist D Sasimukar were arrested in the alleged espionage case in 1994. They were held with two Maldivian women on charges of selling space secrets of the country to foreigners.
The case was later handed over to the CBI and in 1996, the CBI had submitted its final report saying that the charges on Dr Narayanan and others were false. In 1998, the SC had upheld the findings and had asked the Kerala government to pay Rs.1 lakh in compensation to Dr Narayanan and others. However, Dr Narayanan had approached the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)seeking justice for the harassment and agony meted out to him. In 2001, the NHRC had awarded a compensation of Rs 10 lakhs to him.
On September 14, 2018, the Supreme Court ordered the Kerala Police to pay a compensation of Rs 50 lakhs for his wrongful arrest and harassment in the 1994 ISRO spy case. According to reports, the court had also ordered a probe into the role of the police officers involved in Narayanan’s arrest and alleged harassment in custody. The three-member probe panel is to be headed by former judge DK Jain.
Narayanan introduced the liquid rocket fuel technology in India in the early ’70s and was the first to build a successful 600-kg liquid motor engine and went on making an even bigger one. He and his team also developed the ‘Vikas engine’ which was used in Indian’s moon mission. The ISRO spy case did not only finish the careers of two exceptionally talented scientists but also put India’s cryogenic engine development programme on hold for more than 19 years.