THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A day after the Supreme Court ordered a CBI probe into role of police officers in the 1994 espionage case against former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientist Nambi Narayanan, P C Chacko — a former Congress ‘I’ group loyalist and close aide of former CM K Karunakaran — told TNIE that there is no point in holding a one-sided probe. An investigation ignoring the role of the then political leadership in Kerala, including ‘A’ group leaders like Oommen Chandy and A K Antony, would not yield any result, said Chacko, who is now with NCP. Excerpts.
Is the case politically motivated?
Absolutely. Political leaders at the time had clear stakes in the case. The Congress was a divided house with the factional feud between ‘A’ and ‘I’ groups spilling on to the streets.
When ‘A’ group leaders A K Antony and Oommen Chandy were looking for ways to topple the K Karunakaran government, a circle inspector arrested a Maldivian national from the state capital with phone numbers of ISRO scientists in her diary.
Though Antony was the silent beneficiary in the spy case, Chandy was the real operation manager.
At one point, the name of former PM and Congress chief P V Narasimha Rao was drawn into the case.
Rao was not interested in solving the case as he had vested interests in Kerala. He didn’t want Karunakaran to emerge as a national leader.
His aim was to divide the Congress in Kerala. So he didn’t intervene and silently backed the ‘A’ group.Was Karunakaran a mute witness to all the drama unfolding?
These leaders hit below the belt several times. There was enormous media support and interest in the spy case, which made things complicated for Karunakaran.
The case was investigated by Karunakaran’s police and Raman Srivasthava, a close confidant of his, was the Thiruvananthapuram city police commissioner. Were the police part of a conspiracy hatched by a section of leaders?
Though it was his police, the ‘A’ group had more influence on officers in the probe team.
What’s your major demand now?
The CBI inquiry should be comprehensive and they should look into the role of political leaders.