Kerala

IB officers tortured ISRO scientists, CBI tells HC

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) informed the Kerala High Court on Thursday that Intelligence Bureau (IB) officers had physically tortured and harassed then Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientist Nambi Narayanan and others during interrogation in connection with the ISRO espionage case.

In a statement opposing the bail pleas of former Gujarat Director General of Police (DGP) R.B. Sreekumar, two former police officers and a former IB officer in the espionage frame-up case, the CBI pointed out that though custody of the accused was given to the local police, they were “physically” in the custody of the IB officers.

Known to each other

The CBI also pointed out that Mr. Sreekumar and Mr. Narayanan were known to each other for long since Mr. Sreekumar had been Commandant, Central Industrial Security Force, at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram. They were not on good terms. Mr. Narayanan had stated before the CBI that the former DGP had requested him to appoint his niece or nephew to a post at Thumba. However, since the selection 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, otherwise I would call the police. Then Sreekumar had said that I will regret this in future.”

‘Slapped and kicked’

D. Shashikumaran, another former ISRO scientist, deposed before the CBI on July 4, 2021 that he was taken into custody on November 22, 1994 and was taken away to a police club at Peroorkada where he had to undergo mental agony and endless physical torture. He told the CBI that many police personnel in uniform and civil dress were interrogating him and were asking all nonsensical questions. They would slap or even kick him if he delayed answering their questions. The former Kerala police officer Siby Mathews, Mr. Sreekumar and some other persons whom he was familiar with were present and were laughing away when he was being interrogated. Mr. Shashikumaran had further stated before the CBI that Mr. Mathews and Mr. Sreekumar did not personally assault him. However, “Jayaprakash, Punnen and some Nair etc” who interrogated him had “physically assaulted” him.

The CBI pointed out that it had filed a closure report in 1996 stating the espionage case was false.


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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 8:17:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/ib-officers-tortured-isro-scientists-cbi-tells-hc/article35745700.ece

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