A Probe Without End
The Rajiv Gandhi assassination case is yet to unravel
The killing of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi at Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, on May 21, 1991, was brutal and sensational because it used a new tactic, a female suicide bomber. The case would have remained unsolved but for a photographer accidentally killed in the blast, hired by LTTE to shoot pictures of the assassination for its chief, V. Prabhakaran. His camera had pictures of the assassins. Madras Café revives conspiracy theories— primarily that LTTE was working for powerful people and foreign agencies. In the movie, they are referred to as Guruji and Reed. The theories seem to put the murder in the same league as the assassinations of Pakistan’s General Zia- ul- Haq and US President John F. Kennedy. Since November 1998, CBI’s Multi- Disciplinary Monitoring Agency ( MDMA) has probed conspiracy theories raised by the Jain Commission report. Some
of the film’s plot follows real events: RAW had precise intelligence about the Rajiv Gandhi assassination. RAW was completely in the dark about Rajiv Gandhi being in Prabhakaran’s crosshairs. It is corroborated by RAW’S former head of counter- terrorism, the late B. Raman, in his 2007 book Kaoboys of R& AW. Prabhakaran’s visceral hatred for Rajiv was possibly motivated by at least three unsuccessful Indian Army raids to nab the LTTE chief during 1987- 91, one of which the film shows. RAW also tried to marginalise him by propping up his deputy Mahendrarajah, alias Mahathaya ( later executed by Prabhakaran), and backing other groups like the Tamil National Army, all captured in the film.
LTTE was working for foreign powers. MDMA has not been able to disprove this so far. K. Ragothaman, formerly in MDMA, says it’s unlikely that LTTE