"Why did R&AW want us to believe CIA and not LTTE killed Rajiv Gandhi?"
Why was the SPG cover for Rajiv Gandhi withdrawn? Why was the decision to give him NSG cover taken only on 20th May 1991 when the threat perception was known months in advance. Rajeev Gandhi was assassinated on May 21 1991. These are some key questions asked by K Raghothaman, the CBI's lead investigator in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
Raghothaman speaking exclusively to OneIndia said within a month of Rajiv's security being withdrawn, he was given cover by the Delhi police. Is that the kind of cover to be given when the threat perception was so high. International agencies had picked up the threat perception and the same was conveyed by Palestine as well.
Let me tell you that the threat perception was unimaginable, the lead investigator says. On 20th May 1991, the cabinet decides that NSG cover should be provided. This was a day before he was assassinated. Why did it take so long to decide when the threat was so high. This is nothing but dereliction of duty, Raghothaman also points out.
Where is the video?
He further points out that there was a video that was taken before the arrival of Rajiv Gandhi at Sriperambadur where he was assassinated. There is also a video after his arrival. Where is that video? The IB director at that that took the video tape and till date it has not been produced. They suppressed it deliberately, he also adds.
One senior officer was hiding this important tape. Dhanu the suicide bomber was in the tape. In fact it was the journalists who helped us more in the probe when compared to the intelligence agencies.
LTTE not the CIA said R&AW:
Further after the assassination, the then R&AW chief said that it was not the LTTE which carried out the the killing. When it was insisted on the 30th of May that the SIT had a lead to the LTTE, the same was informed to the R&AW chief as well. Instead of accepting it, he turned back and said that it was the CIA. He also said that he knows for a fact before he has a mole in the LTTE. He was referring to Kittoo, a London based operative of the LTTE.
The R&AW diverted our probe by putting out fake news suggesting that it was the CIA and not LTTE which killed Rajiv Gandhi. The home affairs minister in Parliament too said that the CIA was involved. I can say that the the IB and the R&AW were facilitating the crime to be committed.
The intelligence did not help
Raghothaman further stated that the R&AW never helped in the matter. They did not give us an iota of information. When we were searching for Kittoo, the UK government did not agree to hand him over. After 1993 he came down after the chargesheet was filed.
It was at that time that the centre had ordered to kill him off. We were trying to get hold of him, but R&AW decided to kill him. Kittoo was an important link to the international connections that Prabhakaran had. People say that apart from Kittoo the other international link was Anton Balasingham. I don't believe that Anton was a link since he was in Jaffna. The other main link was KP, the lead investigator also explained.
What about the PE?
Raghothaman further asks why no proper inquiry was conducted? After the Verma commission filed its report suggesting laxity by the intelligence agencies, a Private Enquiry was registered by the SIT.
Till date none knows what happened to that probe. It was the Parliament which decided to act on the commission report. Till date none know where even a single document relating that enquiry is. The intelligence agencies should have helped and provided names, the former CBI officer explains.
Delay in getting Sivarasan
The agencies knew that Sivarasan the main accused was hiding in Konanakunte. The information was shared late. The agencies are well aware of the cyanide culture of the LTTE.
The NSG arrived a day late at the spot where Sivarasan was hiding. He had ample time to burn negatives and key documents relating to the case. What if we had surprised him, he would not have been able to burn those documents and negatives which were a mine-field of information.