THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even before its official release, excerpts of former DGP Siby Mathews’ reminiscences has stirred a hornet’s nest. In the service story titled ‘Nirbhayam’, Mathews mentions he had stopped the arrest of former DGP Raman Srivastava when he was approached by officers of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) led by R B Sreekumar.
The bureau had received evidence about Srivastava tampering with the evidence against the scientists in the ISRO espionage case. But Mathews said there was pressure from Sreekumar to arrest Srivastava.
Mathews said the IB had tried to establish Srivastava had taken care of the logistics of the espionage, apart from procuring vital defence details. In the sensational espionage case, it was alleged top scientists at the space research centre had leaked vital defence secrets to two Maldivian intelligence officers. Nambi Narayanan and D Sasikumaran were the two scientists accused of selling ISRO secrets for millions.
There were strong allegations the then Chief Minister K Karunakaran had tried to sabotage the probe on the behest of Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao. It was feared the investigation would lead to one of Rao’s sons involved in the purchase of materials for ISRO.
Mathews told Express the media reports which carried his statement about Srivastava being innocent were exaggerated. On former Gujarat DGP R B Sreekumar’s accusation of Mathews trying to please Srivastava in view of a pending Supreme Court case, he said Sreekumar was trying to be evasive.