After the hanging of Ajmal Kasav and Afzal Guru, the clamour for hanging the assassins of Rajiv Gandhi and the two other Sikh terrorists has begun.
Will it be easy for President Pranab to give the Rajiv killers the same short shrift he accorded to Kasav and Guru?
The Tamil Nadu legislative assembly has passed a resolution requesting commutation of the death sentences of the 3 persons found guilty of having contributed to the brutal, gruesome murder of India’s former Prime Minister, the handsome Rajiv Gandhi.
Four persons were found guilty and sentenced to death: Nalini, Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan.
When Rajiv was assassinated in May 1991, it was more or less clear he would be Prime Minister during the then ongoing polls.
The DMK regime had just been dismissed by the Chandrasekhar regime after reports of anti-national activity had been found on the part of the then Chief Minister Muthuvelar Karunanidhi. The dismissal had the blessings of Rajiv Gandhi. In fact, it had been one of his main demands of the Chandrasekhar regime.
The Congress came to power under the unsmiling Pamulaparthi Venkata Narasimha Rao who routinely broke political parties like the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, played Russian roulette with the career of persons like Ajit Singh and gallivanted with big-time racketeers like Chandraswami.
Rajiv was assassinated by Thenmozhi Rajaratnam also known as Dhanu, a proven female cadre of the terrorist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam [LTTE] in Sriperumbudur in the outskirts of Chennai.
The assassin’s proximity to Rajiv had been achieved due to the networking by the close family members of a then Congress mainstay in Tamil Nadu and MP Maragatham Chandrasekhar.
The MP passed away in 2001.
The LTTE accepted its role in the killing.
Since Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, India’s political set up underwent a sea change.
The party that had an alliance with the Congress in Tamil Nadu in 1991 was the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.
The opposition DMK taunted that the AIADMK won owing to the sympathy vote over Rajiv’s killing.
The number two in the AIADMK – VR Nedunchezhiyan reacted to that during a thanksgiving public meeting at the Marina Beach in Chennai soon afterwards.
“If the sympathy vote could help us win the assembly elections, we ourselves could have killed Rajiv!”
Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa is reported to have told him bluntly to keep his trap shut in future.
The Jain Commission was appointed to go into the conspiracy to kill Rajiv – in the light of the well-circulated rumour that he was murdered to get even for Tamil girls being raped in Lanka’s north during the peace keeping operations of the Indian Army.
Sadly, many senior journalists believe that nonsensical tripe even now.
The Jain Commission report was submitted in August 1997, leaked to the press in November that year and finally it was tabled in parliament 2 weeks later.
The report accused the DMK of having conspired in the killing of Rajiv. The Congress immediately made a demand that the DMK should quit the union cabinet. The big-shot of the party was then Karunanidhi's nephew, Murasoli Maran alias Thyagaraja Sundaram, who remained my personal friend till his last.
In parliament, the then Union Minister for Industries, Murasoli Maran said thus:
“We are part of the United Front. We will stand and fall together. I am hundred per cent confident of that. If it were so easy to break the United Front, then it will be called the disunited front. No one is going to ditch their colleagues for a few loaves of power. We have no reason to quit at all. The report is full of recycled news. There is nothing startling about it, everybody already knows what the report is saying. A Madras court is expected to give its verdict on a criminal case on the assassination on January 28. Let us wait till then to know who was involved in the dastardly act. Until then, all this is disinformation.”
By then, the Rao tenure had been over and done with.
The highly corrupt ministry of H D Deve Gowda had come and gone at the centre.
Prime Minister I.K. Gujral and his United Front government had stood by Maran and allowed his ministry to fall when the Congress – apparently at the orders of non-Nehru-Gandhi family members had decided to pull the plug.
In 1998, the DMK joined hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance.
Now, it suits Karunanidhi and his apologists to term the BJP and the NDA communal.
Those who swore and continue to swear by the Periyar brand of divisive atheism and anti-India rhetoric like the openly pro-LTTE rhetoric spouting Vaiko saw virtue in the NDA.
On its part, some the BJP, a party swearing upon the need to hang Rajiv killers, saw nothing wrong in bringing those who hailed Rajiv killers into the NDA and giving it plum posts in the ministry!
But, in 2004, the same Congress found virtue in the DMK and since then, its strength within the Union Cabinet has been on the up and up till recently.
Sonia Gandhi, whose party pulled down the Gujral ministry on the issue of DMK having taken part in the plotting of Rajiv murder, continues to term Karunanidhi an elder statesman, a friend, philosopher and guide!
Members of the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam led by LTTE sympathiser Vaiko have been featured in the union cabinet.
Thol Thirumavalavan who leads the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi and calls himself the next Prabhakaran [in case anyone has forgotten, he was the boss of the LTTE] also supports the Sonia Gandhi led United Progressive Alliance.
This is despite the fact that there are cases against his party workers for having assaulted Congress workers within the Chennai HQ of the same Congress called Satyamurthy Bhavan!
On the sympathy plank after Rajiv murder, the Congress won in 1991.
Since then, the Lankan pogrom against the LTTE and the Tamils in general in 2008-2009 helped the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance win handsomely – at least in Tamil Nadu.
While Lanka has plonked penal customs duties on Indian goods entering Colombo, India continues to help Rajapaksa regime by keeping the island's economy afloat by financial aid worth several dozen millions of US Dollars besides giving generous military aid!
The worst irony is that Lanka regime spouts contempt for India on the one hand and on the other uses the opportunity provided by tricking India into aiding the putting down of Tamil terrorism with an iron hand. Rajapaksa has won several elections on that plank since then besides imprisoning one former General Sarat Fonseka, the one-time war hero who sent waves of Tamil to hell through hell - to prison for a long time simply because he had told the media that Prabhakaran may have escaped.
The strangest part of the whole thing is that Lanka is yet to provide any internationally acceptable piece of evidence that the person slain on May 18 2009 was indeed V Prabhakaran other than a television visual of a dead body - that was described as that of Prabhakaran, who was trying to escape from the battlefield, with his battle fatigues and with his name tag on his chest! It took the Indian regime no time to accept the Lankan statement on it and saying some 11 times in parliament that Prabhakaran was dead. But, it took the same Indian regime's home department some 17 months to withdraw the international red corner notice against the same Prabhakaran.
For contributing to Rajiv’s killing, 4 persons were found guilty and sentenced to death – viz. Nalini Perarivalan, ‘Gundu’ Santhan and Murugan alias Sri Haran. Sonia Gandhi recommended that Nalini’s death sentence be commuted in 1999 saying she was the mother of a young female child.
The other 3 have not expressed any regret for the deeds but demand to be released as their right after having waited for the hangman for too long.
Nalini Sri Haran has demanded to be released saying she has served more than a life-term.
There are several unanswered questions in this:
Rajiv’s daughter Priyanka visited Nalini in her cell in Vellore in March 2008 and has never given any reason for doing so. Nalini’s apology for her role in the Rajiv killing has been very, very conditional. She has been quoted as saying that she regretted her role in the murder but maintains that the bigger conspirators are yet to be brought to book. None has bothered to find out why Priyanka Gandhi Vadra travelled some 5000 km on a single day to meet a person who admitted to aiding the killers of her father. And none has bothered to find out why Nalini was given the best class in her prison life - which has since been withdrawn - following the discovery of a mobile phone on her person.
The meeting coincided with the sentencing of Vinayagamurthy Muralidharan @ Colonel Karuna in London for illegal entry after he flaunted a diplomatic passport issued by the Government of Sri Lanka. He was sent to a high security prison.
Karuna who had split from the LTTE in 2004 had escaped from Lanka despite military protection to save his life but returned openly to become part of the Rajapaksa government in June 2008 without completing his 8 month sentence for illegal entry in Britain. This was despite evidence having been provided by organisations like Amnesty International citing Karuna had employed child soldiers, tortured his political opponents to death and a lot worse. The material was quoted from the official records of Lanka. How did Karuna leave the UK without completing his sentence? How come within 2 months of his reaching Lanka to become a member of parliament through the good offices of the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party did the pogrom against the Tamils begin in right earnest? How come some of the arrest warrants against him and Douglas Devananda, two of the Tamil ministers in Lanka pending in multiple nations are never executed?
The DMK and VCK have been open supporters of the LTTE and also support the UPA, which is opposed to Rajiv killer Prabhakaran. Yet, VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan is able to feature himself as Prabhakaran. Is it because that the DMK and VCK agreed to help the UPA out in the recent parliament sessions by voting on its side on the Foreign Direct Investment?
The entire political spectrum in Tamil Nadu is opposed to Rajapaksa of Lanka and that includes the Congress. Yet, Lankan politicians come and go through India at will. The entire political spectrum in Tamil Nadu is also opposed to hanging Rajiv's killers despite terming the deed dastardly.
There is one person who is the mover and shaker of the United Progressive Alliance – one Sonia Gandhi who may have answers to all these issues.
I have levelled serious charges against her.
They include masterminding Rajiv’s killing and her being a cat’s paw in the hands of the erstwhile KGB and the ISI.
Here is the link of that blog:
A brief note about Kasav and Guru:
Kasav was a Pakistani terrorist who spread mayhem in Mumbai – firing and killing at will, bringing a city of 2.5 crore persons to a standstill. The number of his victims surpassed 160 in direct terms. Those who committed suicide because their businesses went kaput or those who suffered cardiac arrests and could not reach hospitals are not included in this count. The financial losses can be totted to over Rs. 10 lakh crores in terms of stymied income. We had the evidence – Pakistan initially denied Kasav was their man and finally caved in. Kasav was unrepentant. He was hanged some 3 plus months ago.
Afzal Guru aided and abetted Pakistan-trained terrorists to attack India’s Parliament when it was in session. He admitted that with a bored expression during television interviews. He remained alive for some 12 years after the dastardly act because the political types predicted total breakdown of law and order in India if Guru was executed. And when he was, the other day, nothing untoward happened. It was yet another day.
There are of course other Khalistan terrorists.
One of them is Balwant Singh Rajoana who has been found guilty of having masterminded the murder of Chief Minister Beant Singh.
There is no ambiguity in the crime of Rajoana at all and he is not repentant about anything.
And then there is the matter concerning one Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar.
Bhullar has been found guilty of exploding a car bomb in New Delhi that killed 9 persons in 1993. His attempts to seek asylum in Germany did not work and was extradited to India.
Bhullar was prosecuted for the 1993 New Delhi car bombing. He is also a suspect in two other deadly terrorist incidents, including the 1992 Amritsar bombing, but those charges were not pursued due to lack of evidence.
He was found guilty by the trial court and sentenced to death by hanging on 25 August 2001.
In a 2002 review of the trial, an appeals court upheld Bhullar’s death sentence by a split verdict of 2-1. The presiding judge voted to overturn the death penalty on Bhullar, because the testimony of the prosecution witnesses had been at odds with the account of events in Bhullar’s self-confession. However, the other judges upheld the death penalty because Bhullar’s confession had not been sent to the trial magistrate, it was not the basis for the conviction and Bhullar had withdrawn his confession.
Bhullar’s appeal against the conviction was dismissed by the Supreme Court of India on 27 December 2006.
His plea for clemency was rejected by the President of India in May 2011.
In September 2011, the Supreme Court allowed Bhullar to file an unprecedented second appeal against the death sentence.
The matter is pending.
The Akali Dal regime is being totally soft towards the Khalistan elements, citing issues of terrorism.
As a concept, Khalistan was never, never viable. Here is why:
Pakistan had decided to demoralise Indian army by alienating the Sikhs with the issue of Khalistan – using one of the political Frankenstein monsters created by Indira Gandhi – Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale covertly and the diplomatic game through Dr Jagjit Singh Chauhan as the self-styled President in Exile of the Republic of Khalistan headquartered in London.
It did not work.
In the 80’s, when Indira Gandhi had been assassinated by her two Sikh bodyguards, Punjab produced some 70 % of India’s agricultural output.
If Khalistan was created by ‘liberating’ that part of East Punjab [the West Punjab is with Pakistan] the hardworking Sikhs would have no place to sell their produce as India would see Khalistan as an enemy nation.
The landlocked Punjab would not be able to export that stuff through the nearest ports – there are only two.
To the east there is Kandla – out of the question as that happens to be India.
To the west there is Karachi – but to export 70% of the agricultural produce needed by India, one would require the whole of Sind Province to be a single port [something that cannot be imagined at all] to export all that food.
Anyway, who would buy so much of food anywhere in the world and why should anyone do so?
Reproduced from a blog I wrote in 2010 – the link:
Given hereunder is a conversation I had in Bayswater, central London with Dr Jagjit Singh Chauhan, the self-styled President in exile of the Republic of Khalistan in 1985.
Me: While I cannot doubt your commitment to the cause of the uplift of the Sikhs, I am totally foxed by the demand of a separate nation by a few Sikhs – some of them beholden to you, Dr Jagjit Singh Chauhan. As the self-styled President in exile of the republic of Khalistan, you are sitting pretty here in central London [Bayswater] twiddling your thumbs while your disciples are inflicting mayhem in the Punjab. In my opinion, both are fruitless.
Dr Jagjit Singh Chauhan: You Hindu Brahmins do not understand Sikh history and contribution towards the welfare of the Asian subcontinent! Punjab produces roughly 14% of India's cotton, 30% of India's wheat, and 9% of India's rice. In worldwide terms, Indian Punjab produces 2% of the world's cotton, 2% of its wheat and 1% of the world's rice. Other important crops are sugarcane, pearl millet, maize, barley and fruit. All found, we produce some 70% of India's food needs. Our share of India’s industrial produce is nearly 19 %. Yet, when the Delhi based Planning Commission makes development fund allocations, our share is less than a measly 1 percent. So, how can you fault the Sikh boys for demanding what is rightfully theirs?
Me: I have no reason to doubt the correctness of your claims, Dr Chauhan because you once were the Finance Minister of Punjab and a medical doctor to boot. So, you will not err on facts at all. However, this Hindu Brahmin will play a small game with you. Let us have a debate in this very room. For the sake of argument I represent the opposition in the Khalistan parliament, while you are its President and endowed with the powers of the Speaker. Therefore, you can judge as to who will win the ensuing debate. If I lose, I shall submit to your boys’ firing squad on our borders with Pakistan where your people are strong. And if you lose, you shall order that a packet of cigarettes are brought into this room along with a lighter and an ashtray – denoting my cocking a snook at your abhorrence against smoking tobacco. Are you game?
Dr Jagjit Singh Chauhan: Though my boys will never kill a good journalist like you, let us play this game. Remember son, my parliamentary experience is almost as old as your age.
Me: Yes. I am sure of that too. Shall we begin?
Dr Jagjit Singh Chauhan: Please!
Me: Let us say the whole world accepts your argument about the greatness of Punjab and its productivity without any argument and it indeed is the gospel truth. In my opinion that indeed is the very reason for the defeat of the call for your Khalistan.
Dr Jagjit Singh Chauhan: Are you saying that my arguments are correct and they are the handicap against Khalistan? You must be crazy!
Me: Shall we safely assume that Punjab feeds some 40% of India’s population on the basis of these figures?
Dr Jagjit Singh Chauhan: Though we actually produce more, I shall accept this for the sake of argument.
Me: For the sake of arithmetic convenience, shall we say that this translates into 30 million tonnes per annum?
Dr Jagjit Singh Chauhan: Again, for the same reasons, I accept this too.
Me: Let us also presume that you win in your quest for Khalistan humbling India internationally. Kindly enlighten me as to whom would you sell this huge agricultural produce? India will rather beg from the rest of the world and not buy from you, if not for anything else, but to prove a point to the Sikhs – who were responsible for killing Indira Gandhi. India will not buy your product. Pakistan cannot because it is hardly 10% of India and has its own production to worry about. Before you say you will export it, remember, Punjab is landlocked. You have two ports – one eastward in Kandla and the other – westward in Karachi. For obvious reasons, you cannot get your goods out of Kandla. That means the only way out is Karachi which can handle only 5% of this volume. Moreover, I am sure the Muslims have not forgotten or forgiven the brave Sikh general Hari Singh Nalwa, whose dead body chased away the haughty Afghan fighters who yelped “Haria Ragla” (Hari has come) as they resorted to flight. Will Pakistan also overlook the fact that Sikhs were always at the forefront when wars were declared on India and your people were mostly responsible for our victories and the defeats of Pakistan? So, after jingoism wins you Khalistan – stark geopolitical economic reality will starve your people to death who will rather choose to be with India rather than lose everything. The same formula applies to industrial produce as well. Even if one is sold on the silly idea that Karachi indeed will be the embarkation point of your goods, the space required will encompass whole of Sind Province and not merely its capital Karachi! So is Khalistan viable or a millstone around the neck, Dr Chauhan?
As a sign of accepting his defeat, Dr Chauhan allowed me to smoke in his residence.
Soon afterwards, this took place:
Unnamed Officer [in India’s main spying agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) to a uniformed orderly]: Get Mr Hari an ashtray.
Me: Though I admit that I smoke, I did not ask you for an ashtray.
Officer: Everyone knows you smoke and your blackened lips...
Me: Are those the only reasons?
Officer: You are a man who managed to wangle not only an ashtray but also a cigarette packet and a lighter inside the so-called Sikh government in exile in London, smoked quite a bit leaving the persons in the room supposed to abhor tobacco, reeking of it for days. We ought to oblige the man with at least an ashtray!
Me: There were only three persons in that room that night including me and Dr Chauhan. Obviously I did not tell you what happened and it is difficult for me to imagine the doctor would have done so. The other person was too dim-witted to think of something fantastic like this. So Dr Chauhan’s room was and is bugged. Bloody good show, sir!
Officer: What bloody good show? Even if what you say is true, we did not floor him with the kind of argument you did. Now, that the battle has been won in the enemy’s mind, other victories are bound to follow. Here, have a cigarette!
Me: These ashes from this cigarette will be blown away and forgotten. Nobody may even know what transpired in that London room with Chauhan. But, nobody will ever be able to forget what happened to those thousands of innocent Sikhs after the murder of Mrs Indira Gandhi who was responsible for Sikh terrorism in the first place.