India's National Magazine
From the publishers of THE HINDU
Vol. 15 :: No. 03 :: Feb. 7 - 20, 1998
The accused, the charges, the verdict
THE Special Investigation Team of the Central Bureau of Investigation charge-sheeted 41 persons in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. Of these, three are absconding and could not be tried; 12 others died, and the charges against them abated; the remaining 26 stood trial at the Designated Court at Poonamallee, near Chennai. In his judgment delivered on January 28, 1998, the Designated Judge, V. Navaneetham, pronounced all 26 guilty under Section 120-B (conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code read with Section 302 (murder) of the IPC and provisions of the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act.
V. Prabakaran: LTTE chief; Ordered the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi and designed the criminal conspiracy to execute it; Absconding, and declared a Proclaimed Offender. Not tried.
Pottu Amman alias Shanmughanathan Sivasankaran: Intelligence chief of the LTTE; Designed the conspiracy along with Prabakaran; Absconding, and declared a Proclaimed Offender. Not tried.
Akila: Deputy Chief of the LTTE Women's Intelligence Wing; Along with Prabakaran and Pottu Amman, she planned and arranged to execute the assassination plot; Absconding, and declared a Proclaimed Offender. Not tried.
Sivarajan alias Packiachandaran alias Raghuvaran: Member of the LTTE Intelligence Wing who led the LTTE squad that assassinated Rajiv Gandhi; The nine-member squad reached Kodiakkarai in Tamil Nadu from the Jaffna peninsula on May 1, 1991; Committed suicide when cornered at Konanakunte, near Bangalore, on August 19, 1991.
Dhanu alias Anbu alias Kalaivani: The member of the assassination squad who was the "human bomb" at Sriperumbudur; Died in the blast on May 21, 1991.
Subha alias Nithya: LTTE woman member entrusted with executing the assassination plan along with Dhanu; Committed suicide along with Sivarajan at Konanakunte on August 19, 1991.
Suresh Master, Amman, "Driver" Anna and Jamuna alias Jameela: All members of the assassination team who worked in various capacities; Committed suicide along with Sivarajan and Subha at Konanakunte on August 19, 1991.
Dixon alias Kishore: An LTTE cadre who infiltrated into Tamil Nadu clandestinely and was closely associated with Sivarajan; Committed suicide when he was cornered by the police in his Coimbatore hideout in July 29, 1991.
S. Haribabu: An Indian national and an LTTE sympathiser who photographed Rajiv Gandhi's assassination for the LTTE; Died in the blast on May 21, 1991.
Nehru alias Nero alias Gokul: A member of the LTTE who came with eight other members of the killer squad led by Sivarajan; He handled the group's wireless transmission; Committed suicide along with Sivarajan and Subha at Konanakunte on August 19, 1991.
N. Shanmugam alias Jayaraj: An Indian national and a smuggler who operated at Kodiakkarai on the Tamil Nadu coast; He provided vital assistance to the LTTE assassination squad after it arrived in India; Committed suicide on July 20, 1991 after escaping from custody.
Tiruchi Santhan alias Gundu Santhan: An LTTE member who was in charge of the political wing of the organisation in Tamil Nadu; After the assassination, he harboured Sivarajan, Subha and Nehru, helped them evade arrest and attempted to send them safely out of India to Jaffna; Consumed cyanide after his hideout at Navalpattu in Tiruchi was surrounded by the SIT.
S. Bhagyanathan, S. Padma and Subha Sundaram alias A. Sundaram: Bhagyanathan is Nalini's brother, and Padma their mother; Subha Sundaram was a family friend; Bhagyanathan and Padma, along with Nalini, harboured some members of the assassination team; after the assassination, Subha Sundaram made efforts to retrieve Haribabu's camera from the scene of the crime and advised Haribabu's father to destroy Haribabu's belongings; Convicted and sentenced to death for murder and criminal conspiracy.