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Honoured a patriotic scientist falsely implicated: PM Modi on Nambi Narayanan’s Padma award

Narayanan, the accused in the sensational ISRO spying case but later cleared of all charges by the Supreme Court, had expressed happiness over the Modi government’s decision to confer him the Padma Bhushan, describing it as “an acknowledgement of my innocence”.

india Updated: Jan 27, 2019 20:03 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
PM Modi,Nambi Narayanan,ISRO spy case
Former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan speaking to media after the Supreme Court held that he was "arrested unnecessarily, harassed and subjected to mental cruelty" in a 1994 espionage case and ordered a probe into the role of Kerala police officers. (File Photo) (PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today hit out at Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala for implicating ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan in a false espionage case while his government had honoured him with a Padma award on this Republic Day.

“More than two decades ago, a hardworking and patriotic ISRO scientist, Nambi Narayanan was implicated in a false case, just because a few UDF leaders were settling political scores. Imagine, for their own politics, they damaged national interest, troubled a scientist,” Modi said while addressing a rally in Kerala’s Thrissur.

“It is an honour that our Government had the opportunity of conferring a Padma Award on Nambi Narayanan. We value each and every person who is working to make India stronger,” he added.

Attacking the Congress further over the espionage charges against the scientist, which were scrapped by the Supreme Court, and corruption cases in Kerala, especially the solar scam under then chief minister Oommen Chandy, he said,“For them science can be abused as spying, for us science is a matter of national pride.For them solar was a means for a scam, for us solar is a means for a global alliance.”

Narayanan had expressed happiness over the Modi government’s decision to confer him the Padma Bhushan, describing it as “an acknowledgement of my innocence”.

Narayanan had run into a huge controversy during 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.

Following a protracted legal battle, the Supreme Court quashed the case against Narayanan, who was cleared of all the charges. In 2018, the Supreme Court directed the state government to pay a compensation of Rs 50 lakh to him. The court also ordered an inquiry against police officers who probed the case.

First Published: Jan 27, 2019 19:16 IST