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Who killed these Indian Nuclear Scientists?

In the last 15 years, more than 1000 scientists have died and many under mysterious circumstances

India is the world’s 4th most powerful country according to globalfirepower.com but that has by no means helped save the lives of many nuclear scientists who were found dead under mysterious circumstances. Nuclear power in its own right, India was the 6th country outside US, Russia, UK, France and China to detonate a nuclear weapon. Although the Pokhran tests drew a lot of flak from United States, India maintained a strict “No First Use Policy” in the event of a war. But India and Indian nuclear scientists were always kept an eye on by the world.

India maintained a strict “No First Use Policy” in the event of a war. But India and Indian nuclear scientists were always kept an eye on by the world.

China and Pakistan who border this country does not share a friendly relationship and have fought wars with India. It is therefore easy to assume that these 2 nations along with some others are not particularly fond of the Indian Nuclear Program. The first one, who was killed, was also the biggest.

Dr Homi Jehangir Bhabha

Homi Bhabha
Homi Bhabha

Known as the “father of India’s nuclear program,” Dr Homi Jehangir Bhabha, a multiple Nobel nominee and founding director of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. The Indian nuclear program was focused with developing nuclear energy rather than nuclear weapons. A month long war with China in 1962 which ended up in a crushing defeat for India changed the country’s perspective.

In 1964, the Chinese nuclear test heightened the need for a nuclear deterrent. Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri had asked Dr Bhabha if Indian scientists could manage an underground nuclear test following Bhabha’s statement that India could produce a nuclear device in a short time. Lal Bahadur Shastri, the 2nd Prime Minsiter of India, died in Tashkent under mysterious circumstances.

13 days later, Air India Flight 101, crashed into Mont Blanc on January 24, 1966, killing 117 passengers and crew members including Dr Homi Jehangir Bhabha.

In a book titled “Conversations with the Crow”, former CIA operative Robert Crowley, claimed that the US Central Intelligence Agency was responsible for “eliminating” both Bhabha and Shastri.

Nuclear submarine INS Arihant

INS Arihant

INS Arihant is India’s first nuclear-powered submarine which gave India an edge against its neighbours. In October 2013, 2 bodies were found on track by railway tracksmen who informed the Government Railway Police (GRP). They were identified as KK Josh and Abhish Shivam both assigned to INS Arihant. GRP inspector said that they had not seen any suspicious marks on the bodies.

It was suggested that these individuals may have been killed or perhaps poisoned elsewhere, before being put on the tracks to make their deaths appear accidental or as the result of suicides. It was described as a routine accident by the Indian Ministry of Defense and further investigations have been ruled out. Surprisngly, ordinary police were assigned to look into the case instead of the CBI. The investigation however was deemed inconclusive.

And the list continues...

Lokanathan Mahalingam, the senior scientific officer at the Training Centre of the Kaiga Atomic Energy Station, disappeared under mysterious circumstances after he stepped out for an early morning stroll. His body was later found in the Kalindi river in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. Whether he had accidentally fallen into the river or if it was an act of suicide was not immediately clear. Possibility of murder wasn’t ruled out by the police.

A couple of weeks before Mahalingam went missing, another employee of the Nuclear Power Corporation India Ltd, Ravi Mule, went missing and was later declared murdered.

In 2010, Mahadevan Padmanabhan Iyer, a scientist from BARC, was found dead at his home. deemed initially as a suicide, it was later declared a murder. Apparently, the killer had used a duplicate key to enter the house and strangle the engineer in his sleep. Interestingly, efforts were made by some of the investigating police officers to pass the death off as a suicide.

In the same year S Ananthanarayanan, a scientist with IGCAR, was found dead on a railway track in Chennai after going missing for several weeks.

In 2009, Umang Pal and Partha Pratim Bagh died in a fire on BARC’s premises in a lab that reportedly contained no flammable materials.

63-year-old former scientist and former head of the Indian Women Scientists’ Association, Dr Uma Rao, was found dead at her residence in April of 2011.

Mohammad Mustafa, 24-year-old scientist was found dead with slit wrists at the Center for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam.

The Damning statistics (15 years report until July 2019)

  • BARC has reported no fewer than 680 employee deaths.

  • The Baroda Heavy Water Plant reported around 26 deaths.

  • Plants at Kota and Tuticorin reported 30 and 27 deaths.

  • 92 persons employed with the Indira Gandhi Center for Atomic Research Kalapakkam have died, where 16 of those deaths to have been suicides.

  • ISRO also lost 684 personnel.

It is sad and disheartening to see almost negligible media coverage over this subject which could potentially be explosive. Investigations follow the usual narrative where many of these fatalities being classified by investigating authorities either as suicides or as “unexplained deaths.”

Is it a cover up or is it more sinister than we could ever imagine? Who killed these nuclear scientists?