Former director of Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Space Application Centre (SAC) in Ahmedabad has alleged an “espionage attack” by “mysterious men” who tried to assassinate him twice. He alleges that the gang is targeting scientists and scientific institutions in the country and does not rule out this “modus operandi” for “adjusting” seniority within the organisation.
He has not blamed any person, organisation, or country for this.
The ISRO scientist, Tapan Misra, is set to retire on January 31.
“The motive appears to be an espionage attack, embedded in the Government setup, to remove a scientist with critical contribution of very large military and commercial significance, like expertise in building Synthetic Aperture Radar. I will also not rule out… a new modus operandi of adjusting seniority (within ISRO) and clear me (sic) who was perceived as (an) obstacle, he said.
In a Facebook post, “Long Kept Secret”, on Tuesday, December 5, 2020 Tapan Misra, whos is currently a senior advisor to ISRO, says the first assassination attempt on him was made on May 23, 2017 during a promotion interview at the ISRO headquarters in Bengaluru, and again on July 12, 2019 in Ahmedabad. He also points at more recent attempts to kill him by releasing poisonous snakes into his house in Ahmedabad through “a carefully laid secret tunnel in my compound and hidden in a trove of banana plantations”.
He also mentions the “highly suspicious death of Vikram Sarabhai (founder-chairman of ISRO) in 1971” and “doubts about sudden death of Dr S Srinivasan” (former director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre), Misra says that he is “convinced that these are the men, embedded in our system (who) are leading to mysterious deaths of scientists and destruction of our institutions.”
He also mentions the infamous 1994 ISRO espionage case which targeted Nambi Narayanan to these “mysterious men”.
About the second attempt in july 2019 he said, “My security was breached and I was poisoned with gaseous poison, probably Hydrogen Cyanide, which hypoxiates leaving no trace…. leading to convulsion, loss of senses and memory. I survived because of NSG training for my PSO. I was transferred immediately to hospital, administered ozonised oxygen and had to spend (a) couple of days in ICU.”
Tapan Misra added the attempt “happened just prior to (the) planned launch date of Chandrayan-2 on July 15, Probably to prevent me (from being) present there (at Sriharikota).”
“What pains me is that the ISRO hierarchy and my colleagues tried to shun me as a pariah. I pleaded with two successive Chairmen to help me in getting justice, he further added.