D Sasikumaran is an Indian aerospace engineer who worked in the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), who was accused of espionage and arrested in 1994.
parents and siblings
Not much is known about his parents and siblings.
wife and children
D. Sasikumaran’s wife is a physician. In 1994, he worked as an assistant professor at the Medical College Thiruvananthapuram.
relationships / affairs
He was rumored to have an affair with a Maldivian woman, Mariam Rashida, who was suspected of being a spy. Reportedly, Sasikumaran had visited him at least twice in his hotel room. The Kerala Police alerted the IB on 15 October 1994.
Prior to his arrest in 1994, Sasikumaran served as the Deputy Director of ISRO’s Cryogenic Technology Division and was in charge of cryogenic technology transfer from Russia. After rumors of his affair with a spy woman surfaced in the media, he was shifted to the Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad. In 1996, after the charges against him were dismissed, Sasikumaran started working as an engineering consultant in Thiruvananthapuram.
Arrested in 1994 in a false espionage case
In November 1994, D. Sasikumaran, his colleague Nambi Narayanan, Sudhir Kumar Sharma (a Bangalore-based businessman), K. Chandrasekhar (Indian representative of the Russian space agency Glavkosmos), and Maldivian women Mariam Rashida and Fausia Hassan were arrested by a team of Kerala Police for alleged espionage. and Intelligence Bureau officials. The arrest was based on videographed statements by an aide, who alleged that he and Narayanan had obtained money to transfer rocket engine pictures and documents to two Maldivian women, Mariam Rashida and Fauzia Hassan, who were supposed to be spies. was suspected. After the charges against them were dismissed in 1996, Sasikumar and Narayanan were transferred from Thiruvananthapuram and given desk jobs.
When intelligence agencies raided Sasikumaran’s house, they found that apart from a few houses in Thiruvananthapuram, Sasikumaran had 1.5 acres of land in an industrial estate in Tamil Nadu. The CBI estimated his assets to be more than Rs 55 lakh and detained him under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Facts / Trivia
- Biographical drama film based on the life of ‘Rocketry: The Nambi Effect’ in 2022 Nambi Narayanan and D Sasikumaran was released.
- After finding the telephone numbers of Sasikumaran’s residence and office in Maryam’s diary, the police took Sasikumaran into custody. It was later revealed that Sasikumaran knew Maryam through her common friend Chandrasekhar. ISRO had business with Chandrashekhar in connection with the cryogenic project. Apparently, Chandrasekhar and Maryam had made an acquaintance at the Thiruvananthapuram airport, after which they put him to Sasikumaran for consultation with his wife, who was a doctor.
- Initially, the Kerala Police dismissed Sasikumaran’s affair with Maryam as a “sex scandal without any consequence”. However, when intelligence agencies arrested Mariam’s accomplice Fauzia Hassan and interrogated both of them, they concluded that Sasikumaran and Maryam might be involved in a major spy network operating in ISRO.