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Father, son and a prison story

65-year-old Subbarao is trying to fly to States to mount a defence for his son Vikram, reports Maria Abraham.

india Updated: Apr 27, 2006 03:05 IST

Life has come full circle for Dr Buddhi Kota Subbarao. Eighteen years ago, Subbarao, one of India’s most brilliant naval scientists, spent 20 months in jail following baseless charges of smuggling N-secrets.

Today, his 34-yr-old son Vikram Buddhi, a prodigious mathematician, is in an unidentified US prison for allegedly posting threatening messages on a Yahoo! message board against President George W. Bush and Vice-president Dick Cheney.

Then, the teenage son inspired the father to fight — and win — his five-year court battle for justice.

Now, the 65-year-old father is trying to fly to the States to mount a defence for the son he believes is completely innocent.

Both father and son have been outstanding academics. Subbarao came first in Andhra University; Vikram topped his class at IIT, Bombay. He went on to win awards at Purdue University, Indiana, where he’s been pursuing higher math degrees since 1996.

“I am out of jail today only because Vikram compelled me to fight my own case in court,” the Mumbai-based Subbarao told HT on Wednesday. The decorated captain of the Indian navy is now a Supreme Court advocate.

Vikram was questioned by the Federal Bureau in January and arrested ten days ago. “Vikram didn’t mention the questioning to us because he must have been under the impression it was nothing serious,” Subbarao said. “If the charges against him were really serious, why didn’t they detain him right away?”

Subbarao hasn’t been allowed to speak with Vikram, but has been in touch with his lawyer John Martin.

“Martin asked me to reach the US as soon as possible to post a bond for Vikram. No one’s coming forward to help him,” said Subbarao.

Is he worried? “Not unduly,” he says. “My son and I feel the same. When someone tries to trouble us, we become more determined. I see many infirmities in the accusations against him.”