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Ex-cop and AAP leader RB Sreekumar, nabbed for false testimony in Gujarat riots, is also accused of framing ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan

RB Sreekumar was IB deputy director when Nambi Narayanan was framed in the fake case by Kerala police based on IB inputs which were found to be false by CBI

On 25th June 2022, Gujarat police filed a case against former IPS officers Sanjiv Bhatt and RB Sreekumar, and activist Teesta Setalvad, after the Supreme Court said that false allegations of a ‘larger conspiracy’ were made in the Gujarat riots case. The police also took Setalvad and Sreekumar in custody, while Bhatt is already in jail as he was convicted in a custodial murder case. one of the three accused RB Sreekumar, former Gujarat DGP, former IB deputy director and current AAP leader, is also involved in some other cases. He is accused of framing ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan in fake espionage charges. He was also in news for filing a defamation case against Narendra Modi and Rajnath Singh. RB Sreekumar and Teesta Setalvad are now in the custody of Gujarat police.

Veteran ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan gave his reaction to this arrest while speaking to ANI. Nambi Narayanan said, “I came to know that he was arrested today for keeping on fabricating stories & trying to sensationalize them, there was a charge against him. It is exactly what he did in my case.”

It, therefore, becomes important to know what is the ISRO espionage case and how RB Sreekumar conspired.

RB Sreekumar framed ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan

In 1994, ISRO scientist S Nambi Narayanan was arrested by Kerala police with some of his fellows including D Sasikumaran, K Chandrashekhar, and a few others on the charges of selling classified information about India’s cryogenic engine program to Russia and Pakistan’s ISI. The Kerala police had launch the case on the basis of input received from Intelligence Bureau (IB). However when the case was soon handed over the CBI, the CBI had found that the case was fabricated and the defendants were being falsely accused by the Kerala police. The CBI probe revealed that there was no case within a month of their apprehension. However, the matter lingered on because of its involvement with Kerala politics.

The role played by IB was had come into question, as the so-called evidence of spying had come from the agency, based on which the police had acted.

The CBI eventually informed the chief judicial magistrate in May 1996 that the espionage case was untrue and that there was no supporting proof. The report was approved by the court, and all of the accused were cleared. However, the newly elected CPI(M)-led government chose to play by its own rules and ordered more investigations until, in May 1998, the Supreme Court struck down Kerala’s request for a new probe.

Since then, the Kerala government has shielded the corrupt cops and delayed their time paying the compensation that was mandated by the High Court and the National Human Rights Commission. In order to begin criminal procedures against the police officers who allegedly falsified evidence against him, Narayanan filed a petition in April 2017. RB Sreekumar, arrested with Teesta Setalvad on 25th June 2022 for his false testimony in the Gujarat riots, was one of those police officers.

Based on the petition of Narayanan, the Supreme Court had appointed a three member committee to look into the matter. After the D.K. Jain Committee report pointed out a conspiracy by Kerala police and others to frame the scientist, the apex court had ordered CBI to probe the case last year. Accordingly, CBI conducted an in-depth investigation, and filed an FIR against several police officials was filed last year based on the committee report.

In the FIR filed by the CBI, RB Sreekumar was one of the 18 accused named in the case, along with the then Kerala police chief Sibi Mathew. Sreekumar was on deputation to IB when the espionage case against Narayanan was started. While he had denied any link with the case, Narayanan had named him as one of the conspirators.

Why RB Sreekumar troubled the ISRO scientists?

When CBI investigated the case, Nambi Narayanan told CBI, “When Sreekumar was commandant at VSSC, he had requested me to appoint his niece or nephew to a post at Thumba, but since the process was fair, she/he could not be selected. Then Sreekumar had come to my office to express his anger to which I had asked him to go out else I would call the police. Sreekumar had said I will regret this in the future.”

Narayanan’s colleague D Sasikumaran who was also arrested told the CBI in his statement, “I was taken into custody and thereafter, the real mental agony, physical torture which was endless, started. A lot of police personnel in their uniforms and civil dress were interrogating me and asking nonsense questions. If there was a delay in answering, they would start a physical assault by way of slaps and even kicks. When my interrogation was going on in police custody, two or three officers of the Kerala police along with Sreekumar, were present and were laughing.”

Former Kerala Former Police chief Siby Mathews also accused former Intelligence Bureau deputy director R B Sreekumar of forcing him to arrest Nambi Narayanan. Nambi Narayanan filed a defamation case against RB Sreekumar in 2014 for making false statements against him in regards to the espionage case.

RB Sreekumar had filed a defamation case against Narendra Modi

Interestingly, when BJP leaders alleged that Sreekumar had levelled charges of fake encounters against the Modi Government as a quid pro quo for the UPA dispensation giving him a clean chit in the ISRO spy case, RB Sreekumar went on to file a defamation case against Narendra Modi in 2013 who was at that time the chief minister of Gujarat and the Prime Minister candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Rajnath Singh, Meenakshi Lekhi, and Nambi Narayanan were among the others RB Sreekumar targeted in the same defamation case. However, the defamation case was dismissed by a Delhi court, as neither Sreekumar nor his lawyers were present at the court during multiple dates of hearing of the case.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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