July 04, 2020
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Mission Complete

Former CBI special director D.R. Karthikeyan laughs off claims made by Nalini in her book that main accused could have been captured alive

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Mission Complete
Karthikeyan, then SIT chief, in Chennai in the early ’90s
Mission Complete

Former CBI special director D.R. Karthikeyan, who headed the special investigation team (SIT) to probe the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, laughs off claims made by Nalini in her book that main accused Sivarasan could have been captured alive but the CBI “deliberat­ely tried to portray him as difficult to catch”.

“Maybe CBI should have appointed her to investigate,” mocks Karthikeyan, saying that her claims deserve only contempt. He says it suited fringe political parties to keep the issue alive. “So now, killers will be glorified and made heroes,” the former SIT chief says. Allegations, he insists, don’t affect him.

In fact, he says he takes these as endorsements. “Coming as they are from a key member of the conspiracy, it is one more confession that their group killed Rajiv Gandhi. Not that we need this endorsement, since it has been recogni­sed as the investigation of the century,” Karthikeyan says.

He says the SIT’s efforts were applauded by the entire world. “It was no mean task to unearth the conspiracy and investigate the terrorist group in no man’s land. We started from scratch and caught all the accused. We were applauded by Interpol, by the highest court of the land and by editorials in newspapers and magazines. It is the first case of its kind anywhere in the world that was solved,” he tells Outlook.

Karthikeyan says the MDMA had failed to take the case forward. “The agency is being kept afloat only for political reasons, knowing very well that there is nothing new to investigate. Maybe it is a useful weapon for the government, for the MHA, to tame opponents,” he opines.

The former SIT chief insists that there is nothing new to be found. “This KP story is going on for 25 years. If there was something, we would have found it. There is nothing more to it. After so many years and spending crores of rupees, the situation is the same,” Karthikeyan says.

According to him, the MDMA was nothing but an agency that gave the government of the day a convenient handle for intimidation, and the officials a chance to travel around the world at state expense.

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