NEW DELHI: The CBI has approached Interpol to expedite its request to question Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP) of LTTE for the assassination of former PM Rajiv Gandhi. Sources said Interpol’s help has also been sought to convince Sri Lanka to assist in the case and reply to the judicial requests (letters rogatory), which have been pending for years. CBI feels the case has been held up for very long and should be wrapped up quickly after getting all information from Sri Lanka.
KP was nabbed in Malaysia in August 2009 after which he was kept in detention in Colombo till late 2012. However, he was released to work for his NGO under state protection in Kilinochchi, on the northern tip of Sri Lanka.
“We have sent several requests to Sri Lanka for cooperation. But now, we have asked Interpol to push our requests,” said a senior officer.
The Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA), which runs under CBI and comprises officers from the agency, IB and RAW, had recently got another year’s extension to complete its probe. Even though MDMA informally examined KP in Sri Lanka once, it is yet to get his custody and formally interrogate him.
During his informal questioning, KP had reportedly denied having any knowledge about the conspiracy behind Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, which took place on May 21, 1991 when an LTTE suicide bomber blew herself up at an election rally in Tamil Nadu.
KP is believed to have been the ‘chief arms procurer’ for the LTTE and also in-charge of collection of finances for the banned outfit outside Sri Lanka. CBI said it has evidence which needed to be corroborated and KP’s questioning was required.
The agency had approached nearly 23 countries with LRs for Pathmanathan along with its findings against the terrorist leader. Most of the replies except Sri Lanka have arrived, sources said.
It’s been 16 years since MDMA was formed to probe the conspiracy which led to Rajiv’s killing. The probe panel consists of 40 officers led by a joint director level officer and is stationed at the CBI headquarters at Lodhi Road. The MDMA has got several extensions with no headway in the probe.
Two other members of the conspiracy — LTTE chief V Prabhakaran and head of its intelligence wing Pottu Amman — were killed during the 2008-09 operation by the Sri Lankan army.