Fauziyya Hassan, one of the two alleged 'Malian Spies' arrested in ISRO espionage case, dies

Fauziyya Hassan, one of the two alleged 'Malian Spies' arrested in ISRO espionage case, dies

She died on Wednesday at a hospital in Colombo at the age of 80 where she was undergoing treatment.

Fauziyya Hassan, a Maldivian woman who was acquitted in the 1994 ISRO espionage case has died.

She died on Wednesday at a hospital in Colombo at the age of 80 where she was undergoing treatment.

Fauziyya, who was an actor and a member of the film censor board in her home country, Maldives had later moved to Sri Lanka.

She along with her friend Mariam Rasheeda, another Maldivian national, had made headlines in India in 1994 when the duo was arrested by the Kerala Police in connection with the sensational ISRO espionage case.

The Kerala Police had alleged that the two women were Maldivian spies who were working for Pakistan's ISI and were trying to extract top space programme secrets from ISRO scientists.

The two women who claimed that they came to India for health care and education Fauziyya's daughter were arrested after they overstayed in the country after their visas expired.

Though some documents with the names of ISRO scientists Nambi Narayanan and D Sasikumaran were allegedly recovered from them, the women had claimed that they didn't know them until their arrest.

Following a CBI probe that did not find evidence for espionage and cleared the names of the ISRO scientists in the case, Fauziyya who spent three years in a Kerala jail was released in 1997.

Last year, Fauziyya had alleged that both she and her friend overstayed in India after S Vijayan, who was a special branch inspector took away their passport before they could renew their visas.

According to her Vijayan had implicated them in the espionage case after Mariam refused his sexual advances in their hotel room in Thiruvananthapuram.

She had also claimed that she was forced to accept the allegations against her when the investigators brought her 14-year-old daughter before her and threatened to rape her.

Following her acquittal in the case, Fauziyya had moved the Supreme Court for compensation for her illegal arrest, detention, and custodial torture.

Last week, a group of Ex-ISRO scientists including D Sasikumaran, former Deputy Director, Cryogenic Engine) who was arrested in the espionage case had hit out at the movie 'Rocketry: The Nambi Effect' starring actor Madhavan, which revolves around Nambi Narayanan and the 1994 incident.

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"We are forced to tell the public certain matters as Nambi Narayanan has been defaming ISRO and other scientists through the movie, and also through television channels," the Ex-scientists said.

"90 per cent of what has been told is not true. Many former scientists after seeing the film has called up me and said all the credit has been taken by Nambi," Dr. Muthunayagam, former director, LPSC said.

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