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ISRO spy case: CBI to travel to Sri Lanka and Maldives

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Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 21: The recently reopened famed ISRO spy case probe appears to have gone into a fast track mode as the Delhi unit of the CBI flies into Sri Lanka and Maldives to take statements from the two women, who were among the then arrested in the espionage case.

The ISRO spy case surfaced in 1994 when S.Nambi Narayanan, then a top scientist at the ISRO unit here was arrested on charges of espionage along with another senior ISRO official, two Maldivian women (Fousia Hassan and Mariam Rasheeda) and a businessman.

Hassan is presently settled in Colombo, while Rasheeda is in Maldives.

Hassan told the media that a team of CBI officials had informed her that first they will meet Rasheeda and then come to take a statement from her.

“But following lockdown norms in Colombo, their visit which was planned for last month did not take place and they cancelled the Maldives trip also,” said Hassan.

According to sources in the know of things, the team of Delhi CBI officials is shortly expected to meet the two women. Since Fousia’s health is bad, she expressed her inability to travel to India and hence the CBI decided to meet her at her place, said sources.

It was last month that the CBI registered an FIR at the Thiruvananthapuram Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court against 18 people, all of whom had probed the case and included top former Kerala Police and IB officials, who have been charged with conspiracy and fabrication of documents.

Things changed for Narayanan when the Supreme Court in 2020 appointed a three-member committee headed by retired judge Justice D.K. Jain to probe if there was a conspiracy among the then police officials to falsely implicate Narayanan.

The new CBI team arrived in August and to work on the orders of the apex court.

The CBI freed Narayanan in 1995 and since then he has been fighting a legal battle against Mathews, S.Vijayan and Joshua who probed the case and falsely implicated him.

Narayanan has now received a compensation of Rs 1.9 crore from various agencies, including the Kerala government which in 2020 paid him Rs 1.3 crore and later awarded Rs 50 lakh as directed by the Supreme Court in 2018 and another Rs 10 lakh ordered by the National Human Rights Commission.

The compensation was because the former ISRO scientist had to suffer wrongful imprisonment, malicious prosecution and humiliation.

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Maharashtra government tells HC, Param Bir Singh non-traceable

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Call me “Dada”, not “Sir”, Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb to employees

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Agartala: In what appears to be a step to boost the morale of the government employees, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Sunday asked the government employees to call him “Dada” instead of “Sir”. “Call me Dada, not sir. It enhances the warmth of the relationship”, Deb told a gathering of government employees.

Deb exhorted the government employees of the state especially ASHA and Anganwadi workers of the state asking them not to dishearten as the state government was eager to improve their pay structure.

“I salute the ASHA and Anganwadi workers of my state. The level of dedication that my sisters have shown during the pandemic period deserved applause. I know, they want to hear good news from me and I am assuring you all that this government will not disappoint anyone”, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb told a gathering of government employees at Badharghat sports school field organized by Vivekananda Vicha Manch (VVM).

VVM has emerged as a big platform of government employees, of late, and Sunday’s public rally was its first big gathering to thank the Chief Minister for the series of steps his government took for the welfare of the employees.

“I know what challenges you people are facing. Nothing is hidden in front of me. I am assuring you all everything will be taken care of in the due course of time”, he added.  Lauding the efforts of government employees Deb said, without them no government office can function.

“Due to the efforts of government employees, people can access the benefits of the state sponsored welfare schemes. But, for a prolonged period the employees did not get their right to do something freely. They were trapped in the clutches of unions. In the previous regime, Left sponsored unions used to enjoy supreme power which had reduced the whole work culture of the state to tatters. In 2018, you people showed courage and voted BJP to power”, said Deb.

“Despite fund constraints, the state government is positively working on the issues of DA and other factors pertaining to the interest of the government employees. Our government has already addressed a number of issues related to financial benefits. The ad-hoc promotion, increment for Group D, Group C employees, regularization of SSA teachers, seventh pay scale, UGC scale for professors, special benefit for LTC are to name a few. All these indicate what we want to do and we shall do what we promise”, the Chief Minister said.

The Chief Minister also asked the officials not to call him “sir” suggesting them to refer to him as “Dada” as it makes the relationship stronger and cherished. The Chief Minister also distributed clothes among children of Badharghat sports school during the programme. State BJP President Manik Saha, Minister Ram Prasad Paul, Minister Sushanta Chowdhury, MLA Mimi Majumder, state BJP Vice President and president of Vivekananda Vichar Manch Rajib Bhattacharjee also spoke on the occasion.

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