Former Indian Space Research Organisation chief G Madhavan Nair and three fellow space scientists against whom the government has taken damning action in the controversial Antrix-Devas deal were "thrown out like garbage", said Prof C N R Rao, head of the Scientific Advisory Council to the prime minister.
Mincing no words, an angry Rao while putting his weight behind Nair also slammed V Narayanasamy, minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, for his stand on the ISRO row.
"People who have served the country, served the organisation for long, you cannot throw them like garbage. That's what they have done. They have literally thrown them out of the window like garbage", Rao told PTI, voicing outrage at the action. "They have not treated corrupt persons in politics, in public life like that.
Why only scientists have been picked up?", asked Rao, also Honorary President of Bengaluru-based Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research.
"Is this the way to treat anybody? Nobody will work for these (government) organisations if this is the way they are treated", Rao, a renowned scientist, said.
Nair said he appreciated Rao and other scientists for their support to him and was happy they voiced their concern over the developments in public.
"I really appreciate persons like Prof C N R Rao....they have understood the issue and I appreciate their concern," he added. Rao targeted Narayanasamy for his reported comments that the government decision was taken to send a strong message to the scientific community that no wrongdoing would be tolerated.
The minister's comments came while he defending the action against Nair and three others. "Minister of State saying this will be lesson...warning to scientists...it's not the way to talk about scientists. I don't know where he (Narayanasamy) got his basic education. I am shocked by the way he was on TV and talking like this about scientists in general," he said.
The government on Wednesday had barred Nair and three others from any re-employment for their alleged role in the deal on allocation of scarce S-band space segment to private firm Devas.