Scientists’ deathSeptember 26, 2018
18 years, 684 scientists’ death: The mystery links with ISRO
India is today one of the 9 nuclear powers and New Delhi talks on an equal footing with top superpowers in the world. The saga of sacrifices and relentless toiling of scientists have built the nation’s safeguard in the form of nuclear weapons. The success story of ISRO, DRDO, and other science institutions is carrying some unfolded episodes of suspicion, sedition, espionage, and murders.
If media reports to be believed, in last 18-year period, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) lost 684 scientists which account 38 deaths per year.
The tale begins with the mysterious death of Homi Jehangir Bhabha, father of India’s nuclear program in 1966. Official records suggest that he died in a plane crash. Air-India’s Boeing 707, carrying 117 people including Bhabha crashed into Mont Blanc in the Swiss Alps. A journalist Gregory Douglas and CIA officer Robert T Crowley’s conversation on July 11, 2008, stunned the world claiming that a bomb went off on the plane which caused the crash. The conversation also mentioned as to why CIA has targeted Indian scientist. During 60s India was close to Russia. Bhabha had, once, claimed in an interview that he was working to make India a nuclear power.
After Bhabha, the list of the alleged killing of scientists included many other eminent names- Lokanathan Mahalingam who was working at the Kaiga Atomic Power Station, found dead in the Kali river in 2009. Ravi Mule, who was working at the Nuclear Power Corporation was also found dead in the same forest in 2009. M Iyer, an engineer at BARC, also lost his life under suspicious circumstance at his residence in 2010. Another BARC scientist Uma Rao was found dead in the same year. Other scientists who have lost their lives in suspicious circumstances- KK Josh and Abhish Shivam,
The case of senior scientist Nambi Narayanan also throws light on the darker side of glorious ISRO. Narayanan who was working on the cryogenic engine development program had been arrested in an alleged espionage case in 1994. Later in 1996, his innocence was proved and all charges were dropped. Narayanan revealed that external (foreign) forces keep trying to destabilize ISRO’s projects.
The entire story of mysterious deaths of scientists underlines the vulnerability and threats over the lives of scientists.
If these cases are observed in the global scenario, it would be appeared more realistic and dangerous as spy agencies keep hunting scientists to damage nuclear programs of the enemy country. For instance, the head of the Iranian Ballistic Missile program was killed in a blast outside a military base.
Since nuclear weapon itself is the biggest threat to enemy countries and it provides an invincible shield, the spy agencies keep an eye on key scientists. Let’s understand this with the reports about father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb Abdul Qadeer Khan. Khan, in an interview in 2004, accepted that he had secretly provided nuclear technology to North Korea, Libya, and Iran.
A scientist holds the key to lethal weapons and they are very important persons. Their good or bad deeds may make or mar the peace of the region. Authorities must ensure watertight security for not only providing protection to the interest of the nation but also saving the human lives.