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January 28, 1998


The Accused

The 26 who have been sentenced to death in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case:

S Nalini, 33: Arrested on June 14, 1991 with husband Sriharan alias Murugan, a hardcore LTTE militant. A local girl, she worked as a steno-typist in a private company. Nalini is the only living member of the five-member assassination squad at the blast site.

Faced the maximum number of charges -- provided cover to belt-bomb assassin Dhanu and her standby Subha. Accompanied the duo to a textile shop to purchase the churidar which Dhanu wore to conceal the bomb. Gave birth to a female child while in custody.

Santhan alias T Suthendraraja, 28: Arrested on July 22, 1991. A hardcore LTTE militant, he functioned as a vital link for the conspirators and was a confidant of Sivarasan. It was through him that Sivarasan communicated with the other accused.

Sriharan alias Murugan, 24: Arrested on July 14, 1991. Another confidant of Sivarasan and a hardcore LTTE militant. Indoctrinated Nalini and groomed her as a companion for Dhanu and Subha.

Sankar alias Koneswaran, 32: Arrested on June 7, 1991 at Vedaranyam in Tamil Nadu. Hardcore LTTE militant and Sivarasan's lieutenant. Nalini's phone number in his possession was what led the police to her.

Vijayanandan, 50: A Sri Lankan Tamil arrested on May 16, 1992. Helped Sivarasan in finding hideouts.

Ruban alias Sivaruban, 24: Arrested on May 16, 1992. A one-legged LTTE militant. Was deputed to Jaipur to find a hideout under the pretext of procuring an artificial leg.

Kanagasapathy, 74, and Athirai, 30: Both Sri Lankan Tamils. Were arrested in Delhi on July 4, 1991. Deputed by the LTTE high command to fix hideouts in the national capital if it were to be an alternative venue to carry out the assassination.

Robert Payas, 30: Arrested on June 18, 1991. A Sri Lankan who arrived in Madras under the guise of a refugee in 1984. Married a local Tamil girl. Sivarasan engaged him to fix hideouts in Pour and Kodungaiyur, on the city outskirts.

Jayakumar, 34: A Sri Lankan, arrested on June 26, 1991. Sivarasan and his team stayed in a hideout which he fixed in Kodungaiyur after the assassination.

J Shanthi, 30: Jayakumar's wife who was used to fix hideouts.

S Vijayan, 34: A Sri Lankan, arrested on July 8, 1992,

V Selvalakshmi, 32:: A local Tamil, arrested on May 16, 1992

S Bhaskaran, 65: A local Tamil, arrested on July 8, 1992. Helped in fixing hideouts.

S Shanmugavadivelu alias Thambi Anna, 48: A Sri Lankan, arrested on May 16, 1992. A staunch LTTE supporter who financed the hit squad. Harboured Sivarasan and others at Pollachi before they escaped to Bangalore after the assassination.

P Ravichandran, 28, and M Suseendran, 34: Two locals trained in handling fire arms in Jaffna. Returned with Sivarasan in December 1990. Arranged hideouts for the gang after the assassination.

Arivu alias G Perarivalan, 26: Arrested on June 19, 1991. A local Tamil. Sivarasan used him to purchase batteries for wireless sets and the belt bomb.

Irumborai, 36: A local Tamil, arrested on October 3, 1991 on the high seas off Rameswaram. Two important letters, including one to LTTE supremo Prabakaran written by Santhan, an accused who died, were recovered from him.

Bhagyanathan, 30, and Padma, 55: Nalini's brother and mother. Arrested on June 11, 1991. They were the first to be arrested. Their house in the city served as a meeting point for the conspirators. Bhagyanathan was running a printing press with the LTTE's financial assistance.

Subha Sundaram, 55: A local freelance photographer, arrested on July 2, 1991. His studio-cum-office was frequented by top LTTE leaders. Had 'deputed' Hari Babu to film the assassination. Made a vain bid to retrieve the camera from the site.

K Dhanasekaran, 46: A local Tamil, arrested on October 13, 1991. It was in his tanker that the assassination squad fled to Bangalore from Pollachi.

N Rajasuriya alias Rangan, 34: A Sri Lankan, arrested on September 29, 1991. An expert driver who shifted Sivarasan from place to place before and after the assassination. After Sivarasan, Subha and others were trapped in their Konanakunte hideout in Bangalore, he was nabbed at a busy shopping complex.

Vicky alias T Vigneswaran, 35: A Sri Lankan sentenced to five years imprisonment in the Padmanabha murder case. Travelled along with Sivarasan in the tanker to Bangalore.

Ranganath, 40: A Bangalore-based Tamil, arrested on August 28, 1991. Harboured Sivarasan, Subha and five others in his house at Konanakunte after the assassination.

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