Meerut, May 18: An Indian nuclear scientist Tarun K Bhardwaj has been lodged in a detention centre in Texas of United States on serious charges of harassing and stalking a female student. He has also been charged of preventing a police officer from carrying out his duty. The scientist is in the detention centre since December 2016, claims a report.Also Read - Flying to US? Fresh Guidelines Issued For International Travel | Read New Rules
The 38- year-old scientist himself didn’t see anything wrong in his actions. On speaking to the Times of India, he informed that he “liked” the girl, a student at A&M University, Texas. He also asserted that he is a victim of racial discrimination and have been framed for raising voice against high level corruption. “Charges of harassment of a female student is not such a big deal in my case as I liked her,” he was quoted as saying. Also Read - Woman Raped on Train While Passengers Remain Mute Spectators
As per the Indian consular officials in Houston, the man has been accused of similar acts in the past as well. He told TOI that after court proceedings Bhardwaj would be deported to India. However, the scientists family in Bulandshahr has alleged that he is a victim of a racially-motivated conspiracy. Also Read - Texas Border Crossing Where Migrants Made Camp to Reopen
Bhardwaj left for the US in 2007 as a researcher after a PhD from Bhabha Atomic Research Centre. According to the website of Texas A&M University, he then specialized in “chemical characterisation of special nuclear materials, separation of fission products from spent nuclear fuel and high-level nuclear waste.” However, the TOI report claims that his profile has now been removed from the website.
Bhardwaj was arrested several times between January and August 2015, while working as assistant research scientist at the university in College Station in Texas. According to documents accessed by TOI, he was even directed to wear a GPS ankle monitoring device which he allegedly removed illegally. He has been lodged at Brazos County Detention Centre since December 29, 2016.
If Bhardwaj’s brother Prasoon Bhardwaj is to be believed, he has been punished for exposing corruption and racial discrimination at the University. He also said that Tarun Bhardwaj was arrested after he didn’t agree to withdraw his complaint.
The family has since written to the PMO, the ministry of external affairs and other arms of the government seeking assistance in “clearing” Bhardwaj of the charges and bringing him home.
Speaking to TOI, the government officials said that there was very little to indicate the scientist’s innocence. A senior official in the Consulate General of India’s Houston, Texas office, said the current detention of Bhardwaj was the fifth in a row “.