The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has asked the Sri Lanka government to provide documentary evidence about the death of Tamil Tiger chief, V Prabhakaran, prime accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case of 1991.
Prabhakaran is said to have been killed in the third week of May 2009, near a lagoon in north-east Sri Lanka while fighting government troops. His death was formally announced on May 19.
India had subsequently asked for a death certificate from Sri Lanka so that Prabhakaran’s name could be struck off from the list of accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
The Sri Lankan foreign ministry had recently handed over a Colombo High Court document – and not a death certificate -- to the High Commission of India (HCI), confirming Prabhakaran’s death. It was a report compiled by the defence ministry here on the assassination of Sri Lankan foreign minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar. It stated that the LTTE leader was killed near the Nandikadal lagoon on May 19. The report claimed that Prabhakran’s death was confirmed following a DNA test.
Through HCI, the court document was handed over to CBI’s Multi Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA) which is investigating the case.
“The CBI has told me that they have received documentation from the government of Sri Lanka confirming the death of Prabhakaran,” Home Minister P Chidambaram had said earlier this month in New Delhi.
But sources in Colombo and New Delhi have told HT that the document given by Sri Lanka might not be enough to convince Indian courts to strike off Prabhakaran’s name off the accused list. So the MDMA then shot off another a letter in the second week of February asking for more proof.
``We need something more authentic. We have accepted the photocopy of the court document. But will the Madras High Court to accept it?’’ a CBI officer told HT from New Delhi.
Sources in Colombo said the CBI request would be taken up with the Lankan foreign ministry. ``The case has to be made stronger (for Prabhakaran’s name to be cut off from the list) in the (Indian) court. The CBI request has been forwarded to the foreign ministry,’’ diplomatic sources said.
Indian authorities are possibly waiting for some more medical evidence to close the case; as of now it doesn’t seem anywhere close to that.