An Indian nuclear scientist in the Untied States has been lodged in a detention center in Texas, since December last year on charges of harassing and stalking a female student and preventing a police officer from carrying out his duty.
But the 38-year-old scientist, Tarun K Bhardwaj did not see anything wrong his his actions and said that he “liked the girl, who is a student at A&M University.
"I am a victim of racial discrimination and have been framed for highlighting high level corruption. Charges of harassment of a female student is not such a big deal in my case as I liked her," said Bhardwaj.
Officials of the Indian consulate in Houston said that Bhardwaj has been accused of similar acts in the past and after court proceedings, he will be deported back to India.
Meanwhile, Bhardwaj’s family in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh has alleged that he is “merely the victim of a racially-motivated conspiracy.”
Bhardwaj came to the U.S. in 2007, after he received a PhD from Bhabha Atomic Research Center.
According to the officials website of Texas A&M University, which now has been removed, Bhardwaj is specialized in "chemical characterization of special nuclear materials, separation of fission products from spent nuclear fuel and high-level nuclear waste."
He has been arrested several times between January and August 2015, while working as an assistant research scientist at the university.
According to Brazos County’s court documents, the researcher was accused of harassing a girl student, for which he had to sign surety bonds that he allegedly violated several times. Later he was even directed to wear a GPS ankle monitoring device which he removed illegally. Since December 29, 2016, he has been lodged at Brazos County Detention Center.
Bhardwaj’s elder brother, Prasoon Bhardwaj, who is associated with he basic education department said, "Tarun exposed corruption and racial discrimination there. He was then charged with sexual harassment and sacked in September 2015. He went to court and had been facing pressure to withdraw the case. When he didn't agree, he was arrested."
His family believes that the charges against him are due to jealousy among his peers.
"He has been persecuted because of his meteoric rise in his field. He has been framed by his contemporaries," said Tarun's father, Ram Kishan Bhardwaj.
His family has written to the ministry of external affairs seeking assistance in "clearing" Bhardwaj of the charges and bringing him home.
Government officials said that there is very little to indicate Bhardwaj’s innocence. Indian consulate said, the current detention of Bhardwaj was the fifth in a row. “Every time he has been booked for harassing the same female student, which is a serious crime.”
"There are hundreds of students and researchers from India at A&M University, but not a single incident of racial discrimination has been reported. Besides, our thorough investigation has revealed that even Indians at the university prefer to stay away from him because of his behavior. Once the court proceedings are over, he will be deported to India."