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Recapturing Rajiv's last moments

K.T. Sangameswaran


CHENNAI: For those viewing the video compact disc it can be a painful reminder of the ghastly killing of the former Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi.

The brutal assassination, the blood and flesh-splattered venue of the public meeting at Sriperumbudur, the remains of the "waist-cum-belt bomb jacket" worn by the suicide bomber and her dismembered body, the seizure of cameras from the scene, the investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the successful prosecution of the case are brought out in vivid detail in the 69-minute video compact disc/DVD. It is scripted, compiled and produced by the Chief Investigating Officer, K. Raghothaman, who retired from CBI as a Superintendent.

Crime number 329/91 registered by the Sriperumbudur police in connection with the May 21, 1991 assassination will forever remain in the memory of at least the 200 investigators of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) and Mr. Raghothaman, now Chief Executive of Mastermind Consultancy and Investigation Bureau, T.Nagar, here.

The CBI took over the investigation on May 24, 1991. The film captures the musical evening at the venue prior to the meeting, scheduled to be addressed by Rajiv Gandhi, his arrival and press conference at the airport, as also the wayside public meetings at Porur and Poonamallee, before he reached Sriperumbudur.

The compilation narrates how the investigating agency detected that it was a nine-member gang that was involved and the motive behind the assassination; how incriminating documents were seized and on training in LTTE camps. Releasing the VCD here on Saturday, M. Karpagavinayagam, Madras High Court judge, said planning, orderly execution, integrity, commitment and perseverance brought success to the SIT. The successful investigation saved the face of the country in the eyes of the world.

The former Director-General of Police, C.L. Ramakrishnan, commended the investigators for solving a case, which was very difficult, sensational and important.

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