A Probe With­out End

The Ra­jiv Gandhi as­sas­si­na­tion case is yet to un­ravel

India Today - - THE BIG STORY -

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.