Nambi Narayanan alleges US hand in ISRO espionage case

Ex-ISRO scientist claims US was not happy about India developing cryogenic engine, seeks to probe CIA’s role

Published: 07th August 2021 06:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th August 2021 06:23 AM   |  A+A-

Former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan

Former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

KOCHI: At a time when the CBI probing ISRO conspiracy case is suspecting intervention of Pakistan and ISI in the fake espionage case, former scientist Nambi Narayanan, the victim in the case, has claimed that the agenda of the US for thwarting the development of cryogenic engine by India was accomplished by CIA in connivance with the investigators of espionage case and so many others. He also sought to probe the role of CIA in the ISRO spy case.

Nambi Narayanan made the revelation in the petition filed before the Kerala High Court opposing the anticipatory bail pleas of former Intelligence Bureau and Kerala Police officers. Nambi also produced several documents before the court to substantiate his submission. “I realised the agenda and criminal conspiracy only later when I examined the entire episode once again as to why I was arrested despite the fact that I was totally innocent,” stated the petition.

He pointed out that the US was not happy about India acquiring the technology.  If India’s efforts to develop cryogenic engines succeeded, the US will be the main sufferer as all the nations may approach India for launching their satellites in space. 

Nambi also pointed out an incident in 1991 in which Russia consented to transfer the technology of cryogenic engines to India at an affordable cost. An agreement  was also signed in this regard. But the then US president George Bush interfered and threatened to enforce ‘American sanctions’ against both India and Russia by invoking the powers under Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Since India and Russia did not want to strain their relations with the US, they were compelled to pull out of the contract, pointed out Nambi in the petition filed through his counsel C Unnikrishnan.

After the arrest of Nambi Narayanan, Kerala Police had filed a remand report on December 12, 1994, before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, Thiruvananthapuram, stating serious allegations of espionage. The allegation was made without any material on record, stated Nambi.

He added that the false ISRO espionage case initiated by Kerala Police and IB officers had shattered the ISRO in the year 1994-95. It sabotaged the development of cryogenic engine, which was a dream of ISRO. “Had it been developed during that period, India would have become a space power with the ability to launch heavy satellites in the order of four tonnes,”  Nambi stated. 

Thus India could have become a very strong competitor to the US and France and thereby India could have earned billions of US dollars every year by launching satellites of various nations in geo-synchronous orbit in our own Satellite Launch Vehicle powered by the cryogenic engine. ISRO team headed by him had developed Liquid Propulsion Engine in 1985 and tested it successfully from France, Nambi said.


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