CHENNAI: Retired CBI officer, K Ragothaman, who was the chief investigating officer in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, demanded on Sunday that DMK leader M Karunanidhi be questioned as to why he cancelled his election campaign in Sriperumbudur on the fateful day of Gandhi’s assassination.
Ragothaman had previously raised this topic three years ago in his book Conspiracy to Kill Rajiv Gandhi: From CBI Files.
According to him, Karunanidhi’s campaign programme on May 21 in Sriperumbudur during the 1991 general elections was announced on May 13, while Rajiv Gandhi’s public meeting at the same place and time was announced on May 17. The DMK cancelled the meeting on the afternoon of May 21 without citing any reasons. Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated, as is well known, on May 21. Ragothaman sees a conspiracy in this.
However, DMK organising secretary TKS Elangovan laughs off the former CBI officer’s suspicions.
“When a national leader is campaigning in Tamil Nadu, it is natural to cancel our meeting to avert a clash. National leaders campaign in the State only for one or two days and it is better to avoid a clash of dates with such meetings. This is a small issue. Ragothaman was the investigating officer in the case. Why did he not investigate this then?” he questioned.
Ragothaman’s fresh onslaught comes against the backdrop of the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case seeking to be set free citing the inconclusive probe by the Multi Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA) set up in 1999.
“When I wanted to question Karunanidhi on the cancellation of the meeting the then SIT chief D R Karthikeyan claimed that it was cancelled on the then DGP’s advice. But Karunanidhi had told the Jain Commission and MDMA team of which I was a part that he had called off the meeting on the direction of then Governor Bhishma Narain Singh. But the latter had denied this,” he said.
The former CBI officer accused Congress president Sonia Gandhi of not showing interest in the MDMA probe during the UPA regime. “The undue delay by the MDMA in probing the foreign conspiracy angle in the case is helping the convicts to seek release. The investigating agency should submit its report or wind up its probe,” he told Express.
Ragothaman also claimed that India’s external agency, RAW, was bent on suppressing evidence by ordering the killing of LTTE leader Kittu alias Sathasivam Krishnakumar.