IB wanted Srivasthava, Narayanan arrested: Siby Mathews

Deccan Chronicle.  | Abhish K Bose

Nation, Current Affairs

Siby Mathews says in the book that his superior officers scooted off the responsibilities of the arrest when it snowballed into a controversy.

Siby Mathews

KOTTAYAM: Former DGP and investigation officer of the ISRO spy case, Siby Mathews, has given an elaborate version of the story in his autobiography ‘Nirbhayam’ indicating that the top officials of the Intelligence Bureau had put tremendous pressure on him to arrest the then IG Raman Srivasthava and ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan. This may look curious as the  onus of the investigation fell over three police officials, including him.

Siby Mathews says in the book that his superior officers scooted off the responsibilities of the arrest when it snowballed into a controversy. Mathews alleges that the IB asked him to arrest Srivasthava over the charge that he had conducted discussions with Fousia Hassan at the International Hotel in Madras. The IB officer told him that he had the relevant documents for establishing the stay of the accused in the hotel. Mathews alleges that the IB officers misled him and that the CBI found that a meeting was not held at the said hotel.

“Fousia Haasan mentioned a name Brigadier Srivasthava who was with them at the meeting held in Madras. The IB was in a hurry to find out who it was. The IB officials stated that it was IG Raman Srivasthava of Kerala. IB officers Dileep Thripathy and Mathew John demanded in the conferences held every day to check the house and office of Raman Srivasthava.”

Mathews used to oppose their demand. “We cannot  question him without clear evidence. We cannot search his house and office too,” Mathews says.
“I asked Mathew John several times whether he had in his possession any relevant documents to say that the accused took a room in the International Hotel in Madras. Though he said that he had it and that they had verified it previously, Mathew John refused to give even a photo copy of the register. Instead of believing the IB, I could have sent an inspector of Kerala police to Madras and that bill could have been taken. This was a lapse I had committed. The CBI exploited this lapse and in their report they wrote that a similar meeting never happened in Madras,” says Mathews.

Submitting to the continuous pressure of the IB officials and his superiors, Mathews decided to recommend the transfer of the case to the CBI.

“In the meeting held on the next day at the office of Intelligence DGP Rajagopal Nair, the IB officials demanded to arrest Srivasthava immediately. They also asked me why I am not arresting Nambi Narayanan,” he says.

Mathews also alleges that he didn’t receive any support from his superior officers and that they got away from the onus after giving orders to arrest Nambi Narayanan. 

“I regret not asking  for the order from Intelligence DGP Rajagopal Nair demanding to arrest Nambi Narayanan in writing. This was also a lapse I committed for which I paid heavily,” Mathews says.