The CBI is still waiting for an official response from the Sri Lankan government on the formal questioning of Kumaran Padmanathan alias KP, who was once the chief arms procurer for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), in connection with the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
“The CBI wants to formally question KP in connection with the Rajiv assassination case. Our request in this regard is pending with the Sri Lankan government. Besides, there is an Interpol 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 the state protection in Kilinochchi.
Sources said, the CBI and Indian intelligence agencies were provided access to KP by the Sri Lankan government in late 2010 and early 2011. He was asked about his role in the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi that took place on May 21, 1991 in Sriperumbudur which he denied saying that he didn’t have any knowledge about the conspiracy.
“KP was not changesheeted in the Rajiv assassination case. But now we need to formally question in the case 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 the CBI officials. KP also claimed that LTTE chief V Prabhakaran, who was killed by the Sri Lankan forces on May 18, 2009, was very secretive and never shared any information about the plan to kill Rajiv Gandhi with him.