THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the Supreme Court ordering a CBI investigation into the role of police officers in the 1994 espionage case against former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan, the focus is now back on the state police which investigated the case initially. The infamous spy case had created political storm in Kerala in the 1990s when the group war in the Congress was at its peak.
The then chief minister, K Karunakaran, had to quit in 1995 amid reports that he was protecting his close aides involved in the case. Former DGP Sibi Mathews, who was the Crime Branch DIG then, told TNIE that Nambi Narayanan was in the custody of the Kerala Police for hardly three days. After the case hit headlines, the police arrested him on the night of November 30, 1994, and taken to the Hindustan Latex guest house in Poojapura. The very next day he was produced at the Vanchiyoor Court which sent him to the custody of police.
“T V Madhusoodhanan was the DGP and I had asked him to hand the case over to CBI as it had wide ramifications. I wrote to him seeking CBI investigation into the case which was approved by the state government the very next day. In the meantime, Nambi had sought a meeting the Crime Branch DIG and I met him at the guest house. The meeting was casual and it lasted only two minutes as the investigation was carried out by junior officials,” Sibi Mathews said.
He said a notification was issued on December 2 handing the case over to the CBI.“The CBI officials landed in Kerala on December 3 and they took over the case by December 4. I don’t know what conspiracy I hatched against him. If there was any such conspiracy, there was no need for the state police to hand over the case to CBI,” Sibi Mathews said.
“Later, I came to know that Nambi had given a statement to the right’s panel that I had laughed at him during our two-minute long interaction which added to his mental agony,” he said.He said he has not seen Narayanan either before the incident or after the incident.“But for the past two-and-a-half decades, I have been called a conspirator. I don’t expect any miracle to happen to prove my innocence. Even the D K Jain committee appointed by the Supreme Court was not ready to record or hear my statement. So I don’t believe the CBI would look into the details of the case or even seek my statements in the case. I am ready to face whatever that may come,” he said.