Damn­ing Dis­clo­sures

India Today - - INSIDE -

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


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