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|November 8, 1997||
Jain panel interim report indicts Karunanidhi, V P Singh, Chandra Shekhar
The Jain Commission probing the conspiracy angle of the Rajiv Gandhi assassination, in its interim report, indicted Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, former prime ministers V P Singh and Chandra Shekhar and Finance Minister P Chidambaram for lapses on various counts.
The Commission came down heavily on Karunanidhi for abetting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, prime suspect in the case, it blamed Singh and Chandra Shekhar for their laxity in assessing the threat to Rajiv Gandhi, killed in a bomb blast in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, on May 21, 1991.
Excerpts from the 5,280-page report, submitted to Union Home Minister Indrajit Gupta on August 28, have been published in the latest edition of the weekly newsmagazine India Today. The interim report is expected to be tabled in Parliament during the winter session beginning November 19 following demands by the Congress and others to make it available to the public.
"The LTTE was getting its supplies, including arms, ammunition, explosives, fuel and other essential items for its war in northern Sri Lanka against the Indian Peace Keeping Force from Tamil Nadu. That too with the support of the Tamil Nadu government and the connivance of the law enforcement authorities," according to the report, based on the deposition of 110 witnesses over a period of five-and-a-half years.
The LTTE sent personal emissaries to Karunanidhi seeking his active support in their battle against the IPKF after the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader took over as chief minister in January 1989 following his party's decisive victory over the Congress and the All-India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in the assembly elections in the state.
"These overtures of the LTTE towards the DMK started a chain of events which led to LTTE's survival and growth in Tamil Nadu even after the hostilities between the IPKF and LTTE in Sri Lanka," the report by Justice Milap Chand Jain said.
According to the report, 1989 signified "the perpetuation of the general political trend of indulging the Tamil militants on Indian soil and tolerance of their wide-panning criminal and anti-national activities.
"LTTE activities of arms smuggling, abduction of Indian citizens and officials and intimation of the law enforcement machinery were tolerated.
"The brutal murder of Eelam Peoples Revolutionary Liberation Front leader K Padmanabha along with 15 others in Madras on June 19, 1990 showed the "impunity with which the LTTE could operate in India," the report said.
According to an Intelligence Bureau report, Karunanidhi had sought details of locations of LTTE hideouts from LTTE activist Naiesan so that he could direct the police "to keep away from such places."
Another report quoted by the Commission said the "chief minister also told Naiesan that the killing of Padmanabha was a necessity and so also of Vandaraja Perumal (former chief minister of the northeastern province of Sri Lanka) and that Naiesan should ensure that he (Karunanidhi) was taken into confidence before such acts were committed."
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