Within days of DRDO Chief Avinash Chander being asked to step down, the project director of nuclear-capable Agni-V missile programme, R K Gupta, has been moved out. DRDO sources confirmed the development and said that it was a routine transfer.
Gupta has, however, alleged that he was singled out by two senior officials within the organisation including former chief Avinash Chander, who demitted office on January 31, PTI reported. The incident came just days after the successful canister launch of the inter-continental missile on January 31.
Gupta has complained to the Ministry that he received the letter, dated January 9, only on February 2 when he reached his office after the successful launch. “With all humility and respect, I wish to bring to your notice that on February 2, I was relinquished from the post of project director Agni-V. I am shocked that… such bad treatment is meted out to such a senior scientist with an excellent track record throughout service tenure,” he said in his letter to Defence Secretary R K Mathur, who also holds the additional charge of DRDO, PTI reported.
Incidentally Gupta’s name had come up in connection with the sudden termination of Chander’s contract by the government, 15 months ahead of his tenure.
It was then rumoured that one of the reasons for Chander’s removal was three complaints filed by individuals including by Gupta who has denied any such move.
DRDO sources insisted that such transfers are routine when a project enters a different phase. With PTI inputs