With ISRO scientist Tapan Misra revealing several poisoning attempts made on his life, let us look at the specifics and the possible motives behind.
Crux of the Matter
Who Is Tapan Misra?
Tapan Misra is currently the Senior Advisor at Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). He has earlier served as the Director of the Space Application Centre (SAC) of ISRO.
Why Is He In The News?
On 5 Jan 2021, Misra posted an account of several poisoning attempts made on his life on Facebook. This was done in the same month he is ‘superannuating’ (retiring) i.e. in January 2021.
According To His Facebook Post
- 23 May 2017: Tapan Misra was poisoned with deadly Arsenic Trioxide (As2O3).
- Poisoned at the ISRO Headquarters in Bangalore.
- Suffered from unusual skin shedding, neurological issues, hypoxia, skeletal pain, etc.
- The poison was possibly mixed in his food.
Major Possible Reason According To His Post
- Suspected espionage attack to remove important scientist like Misra.
- Dr Misra is one of the world’s foremost experts in Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) development.
- SAR crucial for defence satellites – few countries have expertise in this tech.
- “Adjusting seniority” – attacks possible from colleagues to replace him as SAC Director.
- Competition from the US over indigenous technology.
It was seen in a sudden visit from an Indian American professor of a US university on 19 July 2019 who threatened to not “utter a word in future”. Notably, Misra was removed from the SAC Directorship and other roles on the same day within 2 hours of refusing the Professor’s threat.
My contribution was in developing radar imaging satellites – RISAT, considered as a very high-grade technology… [t]his radar system is 10 times costlier (than the indigenous one) if we buy it (from others). So, if we develop such a system in our own country, it’s obvious that others (who are selling it to India) will lose their business.Tapan Misra, stating possible reasons to the Press
(Lack Of) Aid Afterwards
- Exclusion and lack of help from then ISRO Chairman, former Heads and even colleagues.
- Continuous death threats.
- 2017 May incident was not the only incident – later ones included:
- 3 May 2018: “Massive explosive incident” where a lab was destroyed.
- 12 July 2019: Poisoned with possibly Hydrogen Cyanide – 3 days prior to the scheduled launch of ‘Chandrayaan 2’ on 15 July.
- A secret tunnel built to let poisonous snakes in his house.
- January 2020: Defamation attempt through doctoring of CCTV footage of his room.
Most Recent Assassination Attempts
- “Deliberate poisoning of [his] mentally challenged son with Covid 19”.
- September 2020: Attempt to poison him with Arsenic – caused skeletal pain, skin peeling etc.
Read more why such incidents have been happening here: Previous Cases Of Foreign Powers V/S Indian Tech Progress
- Homi Bhabha was killed in an air crash near Mont Blanc on 24 January 1966. Former CIA operative Robert Crowley has claimed that the CIA was responsible for the crash. In Oct 1965 Bhabha had said that India could make a nuclear bomb in 18 months if he was given a go-ahead.
- S. Nambi Narayanan is an Indian scientist and aerospace engineer and Padma Bhushan award, winner. As a senior official at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), he was in charge of the cryogenics division. In 1994, he was falsely charged with espionage and arrested. The charges against him were dismissed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in April 1996, and the Supreme Court of India declared him not guilty in 1998.
- The Tashkent Files is an Indian Hindi-language conspiracy thriller film about the death of former Indian prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. Shastri died in Tashkent, Uzbekistan (then the Soviet Union) on 11 January 1966, one day after signing a peace treaty to end the 1965 Indo-Pakistan War.
- Facebook – Long Kept Secret
- Outlook – Poison attack on me maybe due to my RISAT work: ISRO scientist
- The Indian Express – Tech denied, ISRO built cryo engine on its own
- Financial Express – Twenty years since Pokhran nuclear tests, India has come a long way
- The Economic Times – NavIC: Two decades after US spurned India in Kargil, country replies with desi GPS