NEW DELHI: The multi-disciplinary monitoring agency (MDMA) set up by the CBI to probe the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 made several expensive but futile foreign trips.
On November 13, 2000, a three-member MDMA team arrived in Sri Lanka for a 10-day probe but Colombo did not allow it to interrogate an LTTE operative in police custody.
Next year in May, the CBI sent a two-man team to Australia and New Zealand to understand the LTTE’s international funding patterns. Three months later, MDMA chief RN Kaul flew to Ottawa for a seminar on terrorism but extended his stay by three days to “investigate funding patterns of the LTTE”.
Replying to DNA’s right to information (RTI) plea on the functioning and performance of the MDMA, the CBI only provided sketchy details of the foreign trips. It said giving details of what the teams did in foreign lands was not feasible.
Officials privy to details told DNA nothing came of the two foreign visits.
Arms dealer and the LTTE’s main financier K Padmanathan or KP had made key investments in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, but the CBI could not lay hands on anything that led to him.
By May 2002, when the tenure of the MDMA was drawing to a close, the CBI had not found KP and was still trying to interrogate controversial godman Chandraswamy. The MDMA had been without a head for five months and its staff strength was down to half.
On May 11, Manmohan Singh led a delegation to meet LK Advani, then home minister, and persuaded him to extend the MDMA’s tenure. The home minister granted another extension when the matter came up again in 2003. The MDMA would now expire on May 31, 2004. A Congress victory in the May 2004 general elections annihilated every possibility of that happening for the next five years.
In time, the MDMA turned into a relaxed wing of the CBI with negligible work pressure.
New home minister Shivraj Patil gave successive year-long extensions to the MDMA since 2004 and the agency went back to investigating.
To kick off investigations in a new spirit, the CBI initiated diplomatic efforts and involved the ministry of external affairs.
The result was a 2005 trip to Malaysia, which for years had been KP’s base. The CBI team landed in Kuala Lumpur on December 1 and interacted with government officials there for clues to the whereabouts of KP.
Officials in the CBI privy to details said: “Vital financial links had been discovered in Malaysia and the CBI was given access to his (KP’s) financial transactions relating to the LTTE.”
Following the financial footprints left by KP around the world, the CBI got nothing. The MDMA in 2008 is as close to getting any fresh clues and leads as it was almost a decade ago when it was carved out from within the CBI.
Re: Agency probing Rajiv death made futile foreign visits
Sir, I was a member of the CBI/SIT which investigated the case.The human bomb killed rajiv gandhi and the investigation killed Rg for the second time.Many leads were just ignored and a few accused persons who harboured the accuse persons were let off. As a subordiante officer i fought to bring out the truth.I in formed Cho. Ramaswamy editor thugug a tamil natiolistic magazine and Mr Cho .Ramaswamy conveyed what i told him to arun shourie.I even conveyed that nothing is proper in the investigatyion to GK mooppanar a cong i leader.I opted for vrs in november 97 but it was not accepted. however i went to the press higfhlighting the shortcomongs in the investigation and my interview was published in a tamil weekly Tamilan express which is publisehed by twe Indian express group.At that the time the case was yet to be decided and by going to the press i attracted the wrath of contempt of court. othing happened.the cbi does not have the courage to touch me. as inspector in contested the elections from southmadras constituency and agan nothinf happened. Finally my VRS was accepted in april 1998.since then i am fighting to bring out the truth.
Last edited by Shrawan Pathak; 25-11-08 at 06:25 PM.