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Chandraswami Financed Rajiv Murder: Cong

BSCAL 

The Congress yesterday accused controversial godman Chandraswami of having financed the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi after playing a key role in the conspiracy jointly hatched by various terrorist outfits in London and executed by the LTTE.

In his arguments before the Jain commission probing the conspiracy behind Rajivs killing, AICC counsel R.N. Mittal alleged that Chandraswami through his wide international links and involvement in major arms and financial deals arranged the funds which the LTTE needed badly.

Mittal told the one-man panel that the self-styled godman had every reason to play a crucial role in the conspiracy as he was arrested during Rajiv Gandhis regime and he was refused permission to go abroad.

He said the plan to kill Rajiv Gandhi was chalked out at a meeting of various militant outfits including Babbar Khalsa, Khalistan Liberation Force, JKLF and LTTE at Khalistan House in London as stated by Akali leader Mahant Sewa Dass and corroborated by other evidences

Citing statements of various witnesses and reports, Mittal said the plan, which also aimed at enabling former Prime Minister Chandrashekhar to remain in power, was finally executed by the LTTE. There is ample evidence of the LTTE having received substantial funds in India, he claimed.

Mittal claimed that Chandraswami was also present in London when the conspiracy to eliminate Rajiv Gandhi was hatched by the Khalistani and LTTE militant leaders.

He said Chandraswami had close friendship and association with Chandrashekhar and wanted him to remain in power. There wereseveral others who worked together to prevent rajiv gandhi from regaining power, he said.

Mr mittal said apart from the ltte, involvement of other militant groups based in london, pakistan and canada in the conspiracy was evident in view of various circumstantial evidences and reports. Ltte might have executed the plot but efforts should be to find out who were behind them, he said.

Several interceptions showed that there were close links between the ltte and the khalistani outfits, he said.

The attempts made on the life of rajiv gandhi at shahadara in the capital and faridabad should not be discarded as isolated incidents but regarded as part of a combined plot to eliminate him, he said, adding the plan finally succeeded in sriperumbudur.

The story of rajiv killing revolves around over half-a-dozen prominent persons besides foreign agencies like cia and mossad, he said, adding chandraswami had close association with them.

Mr mittal said evidences show mr chandrashekhar was holding talks with the same terrorist leaders who were after the life of rajiv even after he was told about the conspiracy.

First Published: Wed, October 22 1997. 00:00 IST