The redemption could not be more appropriate, nor the timing more opportune. Ayear after the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on May 21,1991, the SIT team probing the case is to file a chargesheet before the special designated court of S.M. Siddiqi in Madras. For SIT officials, it is a moment that carries a special sense of satisfaction. The 1,000-odd page secret document not only reconstructs the ghastly Sriperumbudur assassination, piece by piece, but contains significant revelations.
In a damaging indictment, the chargesheet establishes that Sivarasan, the one-eyed Jack who masterminded the operation had, in fact, been “trained in handling sophisticated arms and ammunitions, explosives and telecommunication, and close combat warfare at a training camp in Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu in 1983 by certain intelligence organisations”. Significantly, this is the first time the Indian Government has admitted the existence of training camps on its soil.
The chargesheet also lists as evidence wireless sets, code-sheets and keys seized from LTTE hideouts in Tamil Nadu and Bangalore. These code-sheets are normally used by Indian police. However, the Tigers had improvised on the formula to prevent decoding in case of interception. Sometimes more than one code-sheet was maintained to decipher a single message, which often had double or triple checks. The LTTE code-sheets have Tamil letters for every English alphabet and Roman numeral.
What did not come as a surprise was the list of prominent politicians been chargesheeted. These include DK functionaries Dhanasekharan, Irumporei and Kolatur Mani who have been charged with “providing shelter to the accused persons before and after the crime” and “providing a support base to the LTTE’S militant activities in Tamil Nadu and other parts of the country”. According to the chargesheet, the plan to eliminate Rajiv was conceived by LTTE supremo, V. Prabhakaran, in 1986 when he was detained at Tamil Nadu House in Delhi before the start of the SAARC summit. Aphone conversation between Prabhakaran and Anton Balasingham, his political adviser in Madras, which was taped by the Intelligence Bureau, recorded his angry outbursts against Rajiv Gandhi who, he said, should be “fixed” once he gets out of Indian soil. INDIA TODAY, MAY 31, 1992
BODIES OF SIVARASAN AND OTHERS