Trace, punish culprits in uniform

Deccan Chronicle.

Opinion, DC Comment

The Kerala police isn’t the only force in this elaborate dance of puppets by networks run by politicians and bureaucrats.

Former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan. (Photo: File)

The financial damages awarded to Isro scientist S. Nambi Narayanan over wrongful police action and persecution may mean little considering the years of humiliation he and his family suffered. However, the Rs 50-lakh award by the Supreme Court establishes how dreadfully incompetent the police is and how badly they are directed. The court’s directive to form a committee and get to the bottom of it all to fix guilt and act against those responsible for this sordid chapter in the history of an otherwise exemplary space organisation, that even on Sunday put two foreign satellites in orbit successfully to sustain its reputation as a global player. The government’s obstinacy in refusing to recognise that the investigators could have been wrong made this “espionage” episode one of the worst advertisements for the competence of police forces.

A spy scandal would have seemed so intriguing as to go after Nambi Naraynanan and a woman from the Maldives who was visiting Kerala, regardless of whether the facts supported the case being made out. In fact, as Nambi Narayanan said, the technology they claimed he stole from Isro didn’t even exist in 1994. Human rights went for a toss as conspiracy theories abounded, and police operations only helped destroy lives. The Kerala police isn’t the only force in this elaborate dance of puppets by networks run by politicians and bureaucrats. However, if the case opens up the floodgates for similarly wronged persons to find justice — even if the principle of such compensation is absent in the Indian criminal system — the Isro scientist wouldn’t have suffered in vain.

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