A new book, authored by a former chief investigator of the Central Bureau Investigation, has claimed that a video shot hours before former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, on May 21, 1991, had crucial clues about the assassination that was never shared by the Intelligence Bureau (IB).
Titled "Conspiracy to Kill Rajiv Gandhi: From the CBI files", the book authored by K Ragothaman, claims that the then IB director and current West Bengal Governor M.K. Narayanan never shared this video with them.
"We filed a preliminary enquiry "naming M.K. Narayanan as a suspect for tampering with valuable evidence, but the case was eventually buried by our chief," the DNA newspaper quoted Ragothaman, as saying in an interview.
Ragothaman specifically referred to a secret letter that Narayanan wrote to former Prime Minister Chandrashekhar the day after the assassination.
"Video pictures of this part of the (Sriperumbudur) meeting are presently being scanned to try and identify the lady," Narayanan wrote in the letter.
Ragothaman discovered a copy of this letter in the report of the Justice Verma Commission's records.
When Justice Verma asked SIT chief D. Karthikeyan to establish whether this video was tampered with or not, he promised a forensic report.
"But this report was never submitted by the CBI to the commission... Is it not obvious that M K Narayanan had suppressed evidence?" Ragothaman asks.
He further alleged that the then RAW chief, G.S. Bajpai, was working to ensure that the LTTE was not blamed for the assassination, saying that the CBI director and SIT chief were recalled from Colombo, where they had gone for investigations, on Bajpai's "insistence".
Ragothaman also raises several questions over the role of MDMK leader Vaiko, then with the DMK.
He claims Vaiko's role needed further investigation.
Ragothaman claims DMK cadres stayed away from public meetings on the evening of May 21.
A scheduled meeting of DMK leader M Karunanidhi "was abruptly cancelled" the same evening.
When he made inquiries as to who may have tipped Karunanidhi off, he was told that it was the then police chief of Tamil Nadu.
Ragothaman says he "collected evidence about the cancellation of the meeting", but this line of investigation was shut down by his seniors.
He feels that if this line had been explored further, it would have revealed more details of the plot to kill Rajiv Gandhi.