Intelligence Bureau pressured senior cops to arrest Nambi Narayanan: Kerala ex-DGP

The Supreme Court, acting upon a committee report, had earlier directed the CBI to investigate officials of the state police and central agencies, which probed the ISRO spy case.

FORMER KERALA DGP Siby Mathews, who is arraigned as the fourth accused in the CBI case pertaining to conspiracy behind the 1994 ISRO spy case, has said that Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials pressured senior state police officials to arrest ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan, the then IG Raman Srivastava and others stating that “the matter is related to security of the nation and positions of such persons shall not be a hindrance for stern actions against them”.

Mathews made the claim in his bail application in the case registered by the CBI against him and 17 other police and IB officers last month on charges of framing Nambi Narayanan in the spy case. The bail application is expected to be heard at the district sessions court here on Wednesday.

The Supreme Court, acting upon a committee report, had earlier directed the CBI to investigate officials of the state police and central agencies, which probed the ISRO spy case.

Mathews, who headed the state police team which initially probed the spy case, said officials of the central intelligence wing (IB) and RAW had passed information to Kerala police about suspicious activities of the accused persons in the spy case.

“The then Thiruvananthapuram city police commissioner had reported the case was registered as per the instructions of the central agencies and Mariyam Rasheeda was arrested based on the instructions of R B Sreekumar, who was the then deputy director of the IB. It was also stated in that report that Rasheeda and Fousiya Hassan had connections with one senior ISRO scientist. When Fousiya was questioned, there revealed a spy network linking Colombo, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram and Maldives,” he said.

Referring to the allegation of custodial torture, Mathews said there was no such allegation made by Nambi when he was repeatedly produced before the court.

Mathews said he had told the then state police chief to recommend to the Kerala government to entrust the investigation to the CBI as the probe was spread over several states and several central government organisations. “If there was any conspiracy or bad faith on the part of the petitioner, he ought not have recommended the transfer of probe to another agency…. There is no doubt that the petitioner was taking all actions in respect of the cases in absolute faith and he is entitled to all protections under Section 64 (3) of the Kerala Police Act,’’ his bail application said.

He said the allegations of criminal conspiracy against him were unsustainable since he was entrusted with the probe after registering the case and arrest of Mariyam Rasheeda. “Sharing information related to a crime with the central agencies and allowing them to question the accused would not constitute any criminal conspiracy. The information furnished by the officials of the central agencies are presumed to be genuine unless the same are found negative subsequently by cognitive evidence,” he said.

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