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CBI waiting to question former LTTE operative

india Updated: Nov 15, 2013 00:42 IST
Rajesh Ahuja

The CBI is waiting for an official response from the Sri Lankan government on the formal questioning of a Tamil militant in connection with the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

The militant, Kumaran Padmanathan (KP), was the chief arms procurer for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

“Our request in this regard is pending with the Sri Lankan government. Besides, there is an Interpol (International Police Organisation) notice pending against KP for a case registered against him in Tamil Nadu. The Tamil Nadu police have sought his extradition to India in the case,” said a CBI official, requesting anonymity.

KP was nabbed in Malaysia in August 2009. He was kept in detention in Colombo till late 2012 and then released to work for his NGO under state protection in Kilinochchi, on the northern tip of Sri Lanka.

Sources said the Sri Lankan government in late 2010 and early 2011 had provided the CBI and Indian intelligence agencies access to KP.

He was asked about his role in Gandhi’s assassination, which took place on May 21, 1991, in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu. He denied, saying that he didn’t have any knowledge about the conspiracy.

“KP was not charge sheeted in the case. But now we need to formally question (him) for the purpose of court proceedings. The earlier access to KP provided by the Sri Lankan government was informal,” said the official.

In an interview late last year, KP had admitted being “interviewed” by CBI officials. He also said LTTE chief V Prabhakaran, killed by the Sri Lankan forces on May 18, 2009, was very secretive and never shared with him any information about the plan to kill Gandhi.