The assassination of former Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi, , occurred on 21 May 1991 as a result of a suicide bombing in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu, India . At least 14 others,we’re killed alongside Rajiv Gandhi in the suicide bombing.
The assassination was carried out by Thenmozhi Rajaratnam, a member of the Tamil Liberation Tigers (LTTE), a Tamil separatist organization in Sri Lanka, and Dr. Jagjit Singh Chohan of the National Council of Khalistan (NCK) and Gurjant Singh Budhsinghwala of the Khalistan Liberation Force. At that time, India had just finished its involvement in the civil war in Sri Lanka through the Indian Peace Keeping Force. Rajiv Gandhi along with G.K. Moupanal started election campaign in southern state of India. After campaigning in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh on May 21, his next destination was Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu. Approximately two hours after arriving in Madras ,Rajiv Gandhi rode a white ambassador car to Slipelumbudur in a convoy, stopping at several other campaign sites along the way. Arriving at the campaign rally at Sriperumbudur, Rajiv left the car and went up to the podium, where he gave a speech. After the soeech the assassin Danu (Thenmozhi Rajaratnam) approached and greeted him. Then she bent over and touched his leg, and at 10:10 pm, detonated a belt loaded with RDX explosives place under her dress. Gandhi, his assassin and 14 others were killed in a subsequent explosion, and 43 were seriously injured. The assassination was filmed by local photographer Haribab. Haribab’s camera and film were found intact on the scene, but he also died in the blast.
Apart from Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India and the suicide bomber Thenmozhi Rajaratnam , several people were killed in the blast on 21 May 1991:
Including Pradeep K Gupta (personal security officer of Rajiv Gandhi ), K.S Mohammed Iqbal (police superintendent), Edward Joseph ( police inspector) ,Dharman,Chandra, Ethiraju Muruganand and Rajguru (police constables), Santhani Begum (Mahila Congressn Leader) ,Latha Kannan ( Mahila Congress worker,who was with her daughter Kokilavani ),Kokilavani (ten-year-old daughter of Latha Kannan, who sang a poem to Gandhi immediately before the blast), Munuswamy (former member of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Council) ,Saroja Devi (seventeen-year-old college student), Ravichandran (Black Cat commando).
Around forty-three spectator present in the campaign including police sub-inspector Anushiya Daisy were also injured in the explosion.
Immediately after the assassination, the Chandrasekhar government handed over the investigation to the CBI on May 22, 1991. Authorities, formed a special research team led by Karthikeyan to determine who is responsible for the assassination. A SIT investigation confirmed the role of the LTTE in assassination and was endorsed by the Supreme Court of India. Judge Millap Chand Jain’s interim report investigated the secret aspects of the assassination and accused DMK of working with the LTTE. The report concluded that the DMK provided the LTTE with shelter and made it easier for rebels to assassinate Rajiv Gandhi. The report also claimed that Jaffna’s LTTE leaders possessed confidential, encrypted messages exchanged between the federal and DMK state governments.Authorities also stated in reports “There is evidence that during this period some of the most important radio messages were exchanged between the LTTE agents stationed in Tamil Nadu and Jaffna. These later deciphered messages are directly related to the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi “. The Congress demanded withdrawal of DMK from the Union Front government, after claiming to have played an important role in Rajiv Gandhi’s death. According to reports Dr. Jagjit Singh Chohan supported the LITTE with logistic and tactical support. His involvement was first revealed in 2016, about 10 years later. Speculation. This was evidence of the Jain Commission’s report and was suspected that the LTTE had contacted Gurjant Singh Budhsinghwala with Jagjit Singh Chohan to plan the plot.
After the investigation on the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi ,the court convicted and sentenced the seven persons who were involved in the assassination to life imprisonment. They are currently undergoing life imprisonment in prisons in India.
Murugan – A LTTE operative from Sri Lanka, Nalini – Wife of Murugan. Nalini is a citizen of India ,Jayakumar – The brother in law of Robert Pious ,Ravichandran – A Sri Lankan national ,T. Suthenthiraraja – A Sri Lankan national ,Robert Pious – A Sri Lankan national and A. G. Perarivalan – An Indian citizen who was arrested for supplying a 9-volt battery for the explosive device.