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TOTAL RECALL

ASSASSINATION of Rajiv Gandhi,.!

factsb4u.peperonity.net

A Slow-Motion Probe
The Rajiv Gandhi murder remains a puzzle
-------------------------------THE CRIME TOOK PLACE on May 21, 1991, in the town of Sriperumbudur in southern India's Tamil Nadu state. The weapon and the assassin's identity are well known: plastic explosives detonated by a female suicide bomber of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the Sri Lankan secessionist group. Only one piece of the puzzle surrounding the murder of former Indian premier Rajiv Gandhi continues to elude investigators: Were parties other than the Tigers involved?
Charged with unraveling the mystery is Milap Chand Jain, 68, who heads a government-appointed commission that has been probing the assassination for more than six years. Says the retired judge: "I am fed up, but the job must be completed." Then, pointing a finger straight up, he adds: "Everything is left to Him, you see. The future is in His hands."

As was much of Jain's past, or so it seems. He did not choose to give up his 21-year legal practice in 1970 and become a judge, he says. His colleagues "pressured" him. Twenty-one years on, Jain had no inkling he would be chosen to head the Gandhi assassination probe. "It was a very tough assignment with global ramifications," he says. When a senior retired judge offered him the job, he asked for 48 hours to decide. "There was opposition from my family," he recalls. "But I took it because . . ." He throws up his hands.

The Jain Commission of Inquiry (JCI) has encountered many difficulties. One of Jain's biggest headaches was the government's refusal to show him classified documents of a special police probe into the Gandhi murder. Jain could scarcely proceed. "I faced all sorts of legal wrangles," he says. He was finally given the documents last year, following a court order. In August, he submitted a secret interim report to the government on the events leading to the assassination.

The 17-volume document is threatening to bring down the...


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