| By Thirumurugan Gandhi
27 Oct 2012
Vol 2 Issue 43
The assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was a tragic event, but even more tragic is the fact that the complete conspiracy behind his killing is yet to be unraveled and some critical pieces of leads continue to remain unexplored in spite of their relevance to the case.
It is important to place these facts before the nation at a time when demands are being made to commute the death sentence of the three persons convicted in the case, Murugan, Santhan, and Perarivalan.
Many may be unaware of these facts and it is our duty to refresh the memory of the nation, especially the media, on the dozens of unanswered questions relating to the Rajiv assassination case that beg for an answer.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) which investigated the case conveniently swept these uncomfortable questions under the carpet so that it could proceed with its preconceived line of investigation confining the investigation to those who believed in the Tamil or Dravidian cause.
Before we go into these questions, it is relevant to point out that the Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA), which had been established to probe the ‘larger conspiracy’ in the assassination, is yet to file its report.
Let’s now look at those ‘unanswered questions’. You could study them closely and decide whether these questions merit a reinvestigation into the case.
Questions relating to Rajiv’s visit to Sriperumbudur
1. Rajiv began his election campaign from Delhi and reached Chennai through Orissa and Andhra Pradesh. Yet the question remains as to why Rajiv would agree to attend the Sriperumbudur meeting which was not in the agenda of Tamil Nadu Congress Party?
2. While other senior leaders in the state Congress like Vazhapadi Ramamurthy and G K Moopanaar showed no interest in bringing Rajiv for propaganda in Sriperumbudur, what made Mrs.Maragadham Chandrasekar to travel to Delhi to invite him? Did she fall prey to a larger conspiracy, unknowingly?
3. Rajiv’s security officer O P Sagar was with him during his campaigning in Bhubaneswar (Orissa) and Vishakapattinam (Andhra Pradesh). Why didn’t he accompany him to Chennai?
4. In Vizag, Rajiv had to turn back to his Circuit House due to a technical snag in his flight. Rajiv returned to the flight after receiving the news through the then Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Vijaya Baskara Reddy that the problem had been fixed. Rajiv took the flight without Sagar. So what circumstances led an experienced officer like Sagar to miss the flight?
5. Rajiv reached Chennai without his security officer. P C Gupta, the officer who took charge of his security in Chennai, could not receive the pistol from Sagar as the latter did not arrive in the flight. As a result, Gupta traveled along with Rajiv without the pistol.
6. The strangest part though is the manner in which some Congress leaders and their family members cleared all the security hurdles and led the assassins and their aides gain such close proximity with Rajiv. (In fact, Dhanu was only at arm’s reach when the bomb exploded).
7. Congress leader Maragadham Chandrasekar was at Sriperumbudur. Her daughter Latha Priyakumar was also present at the venue with her husband Magendiran. Her son Lalith Chandrasekar had brought his wife Vinothini to the meeting. Given the fact that Vinothini is the daughter of a Sinhalese, why was she never interrogated? Isn’t it true that Rajiv had become unpopular among many Sinhalese for sending the IPKF?
8. A senior Congress leader, Vazhappadi Ramamurthy, who accompanied Rajiv to the stage in two other street-corner meetings just preceding the Sriperumbudur meeting, kept a safe distance from Rajiv in this meeting alone. Why was that so?
9. Many innocent civilians and security personnel died alongside Rajiv, but it is too strange to observe that not even a single Congress worker died or even had a minor injury in this incident. Doesn’t it arouse suspicion? (to be contd..)
Thirumurugan Gandhi is a human rights activist and organiser of May 17 Movement in Chennai
The next part of the article will appear on 5 November 2011