A top scientist is falsely accused of selling space technology secrets. A police inspector’s misadventure with a Maldivian woman results in a fabricated espionage case. A faction within a political party capitalises on the case to bring down a government. An intelligence agency obligingly plays into the hands of vested interests to slow down India’s space programme. And a complex investigation finally proves the allegations untrue. In this riveting book, Isro scientist S Nambi Narayanan – who was falsely accused of espionage in ISRO spy case of the 1990s – and senior journalist Arun Ram meticulously unpick the ISRO spy case, revisit old material and discover new details to expose the international plot that delayed India’s development of a cryogenic engine by at least a decade. It took four years for the CBI to exonerate Nambi, but his fight for justice to ensure action against the officers who faked the case and tortured him in custody continues.This book is as much a history of the early days of India’s ambitious space programme as it is a record of one of the most sensational cases that enthralled the nation long before the era of online updates and 24-hour news cycles.
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