A former Central Bureau of Investigation officer, who probed the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, has claimed that a video purportedly showing the assassin Dhanu at the public meeting at Sriperumbudur on the fateful day had been suppressed by then Intelligence Bureau chief M K Narayanan, now West Bengal governor.
A letter written in this regard by Narayanan to then Prime Minister Chandrashekar makes a reference to the video but it was never brought to the notice of the Special Investigating
Team, its then Chief Investigating Officer K Ragothaman has said in his latest book 'Conspiracy to kill Rajiv Gandhi -From CBI files'.
"The Special Investigating Team came to know of the video following a mention by the Justice Verma Commission (constituted to probe the assassination) as it was never brought to SIT's notice," he told PTI.
Narayanan was not available for comments. Raj Bhawan officials in Kolkata said he is on a visit to Australia. The video was shot by a local videographer hired by the organisers of that fateful public meeting, he said.
The letter by Narayanan, published as Annexure in the book says, "Barricading in the site of the meeting (to be addressed by Gandhi) was rudimentary. Neither double nor effecting barricade was evident. It was hence possible for those in the unsterilised areas to have access to the sterilised zone.
It has not yet been possible whether the lady (assassin Dhanu) made her way into the sterilised zone once Rajiv approached or whether she had previously managed to stand in line as one of those offering salutations to Rajiv.
Video pictures of this part of the meeting are presently being scanned to try and identify the lady," the letter by Narayanan said as mentioned in Raghothaman's book.
"It is a suicidal note from him. Had he not written it we would not have come to know (about the video)," Raghothaman said. Ragothaman alleged that the issue was not pursued by then the chief of the SIT D R Karthikeyan and Narayanan was allowed to 'go scot-free'.
Asked about Ragothaman's charge against him, Karthikeyan said he has to read the book before deciding whether it deserves his comment.
"It has been 22 years ago when the event took place and lakhs of pages have been written in newspapers, magazines in India and all over the world," he said.
"Two commissions have inquired. And, the years of trial and the trial court and the maater has been also dealt with by the Supreme Court and the final verdict has been given," he told Times Now.
Karthikeyan said he 'cannot recollect' when asked about the video. "I must read the news item and also see the book and see in what context what is written and if it is worth reacting, I will do so," he said.
The state police had claimed then that Dhanu had suddenly made her way near Rajiv Gandhi before detonating the bomb and that she was not at all present in the sterile zone prior to that, Raghothaman said.
Holding that many versions had floated around the mastermind behind the incident, Raghothaman said he decided to document the meticulous investigation that led the SIT to Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam chief V Prabhakaran and many other members of the outlawed group for the crime.
He said he penned the book in Tamil in 2009 only because the 'accused had been killed', in an armed conflict with Sri Lankan forces.The English version again details the incidents that led to the murder of Gandhi and how the CBI zeroed in on Prabhakaran with vital clues.