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|January 28, 1998||
Prabhakaran had Rajiv killed for being 'anti-Tamil'
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran, who had been declared as a proclaimed offender in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, decided to eliminate the former prime minister as he considered Gandhi to be against the Tamil liberation struggle.
Prabhakaran, who had retreated to the jungles and had been forced by the operations of the Indian Peace Keeping Force to hide there for over two years, feared that Gandhi might re-induct, what he termed the "satanic force" if he staged a comeback in the 1991 election.
Gandhi's commitment to ensure Sri Lanka's sovereignty and the upswing in his poll-eve popularity, hastened the LTTE to execute its designs.
Prabhakaran's doubts grew when he believed the IPKF handed over 17 key LTTE militants apprehended during the operations to the Sri Lankan forces.
Twelve of them ended their lives by consuming cyanide while being handed over instead of being released as demanded by the LTTE. Following this, Prabhakaran vowed to fight the IPKF and the Indo-Sri Lankan accord. The installation of an elected government in north-east Lanka sans LTTE, also added to Prabhakaran's wrath towards him.
The conspiracy to assassinate Gandhi was hatched in the jungles of Jaffna by Prabhakaran, his intelligence chief Pottu Amman and women's wing leader Akila, the last two being proclaimed offenders in the case.
Sivarasan, who had eliminated EPRLF leader Padmanabha and 13 others in Madras in June 1990, was chosen to execute the conspiracy.
Two or three groups sent by Sivarasan, landed in Tamil Nadu under the guise of refugees and they took up residence in Madras and its suburbs, got acquainted with local Tamils and also used them in furtherance of the plot.
In the crucial second stage of the execution of the plan, Sriharan alias Murugan, a hardcore LTTE militant and the third accused in the case, arrived in Madras in February 1991. He made all arrangements to achieve the object of conspiracy and in the process, befriended Nalini, a city-based girl, cited as the first accused in the case.
When Rajiv's tour programme was made public, the assassination squad met a day before the assassination at the home of Nalini's mother Padma, the twentyfirst accused. After giving the finishing touches, the team offered prayers for the success of the "mission" and left for Sriperumbudur around 1700 hours by bus and reached the venue ahead of time.
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