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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2705

Forensic expert reviews Rajiv Gandhi assassination

By Janaka Perera

Colombo, 24 October, ( Prof. P. Chandra Sekharan, former Professor-Director Forensic Sciences Department, Government of Tamil Nadu, Chennai, said on Oct. 23 that the forensic evidence he meticulously collected at the site of the bomb blast that killed Indian Prime Minister on May 21, 1991, proved decisive and critical in bringing about the conviction in the Indian Supreme Court of a number of accused of the assassination, establishing beyond doubt LTTE complicity in the crime. Four of those sentenced to death have appealed for clemency from the Indian Government seeking to have their sentences changed to life terms.

Chandra Sekharan was earlier one of the speakers at the International Conference on Countering Terrorism held at the BMICH, on October 18-19-20. He is also former Professor-Director, School of Science and Forensic Sciences and Pro Vice-Chancellor, National Law University Jodhpur.

On Tuesday he spoke to a selected audience in Colombo and made a slide presentation on the topic, 'Assassination of Rajiv Gandhi – a Forensic Revelation.' While sections of the Indian media at the time of the killing speculated that it was a bomb placed under the red carpet or a bomb in a basket or explosives in the garland that caused the Indian Premier's death, it was Prof. Chandra Sekharan who clearly proved that the blast was caused by a woman wearing an explosive-loaded belt around her waist. It also led to the exposure of LTTE 'Supremo' V. Prabhakaran and his Intelligence Chief as the principal conspirators whose extradition has been sought by the Indian Government.

The world-renowned forensic scientist told the Asian Tribune: "As the principal scientific investigator, I detected that the blast was from a human bomb – the first of its kind."

When another human bomb claimed the lives of Sri Lanka's Opposition Leader and Presidential Candidate Gamini Dissanayake and several others exactly 13 years ago on October 23, 1994, his widow Srima Dissanayake wrote to the then Prime Minister Chandrika Kumaratunga suggesting that she request Professor Chandra Sekharan's services to assist the Sri Lankan police in probing he husband's death.

Prof. Chandra Sekharan has investigated thousands of cases during his career. Among them was the killing of South India's notorious bandit Weerappan. When people doubted that it was really the wanted man who died, Chandra Sekharan positively identified it was Weerappan. The identity was established by an examination of the bandit's ears.

However the most gruesome killing that gives nightmares to the professor even today according to him, was the massacre by the Tigers of EPRLF leader Padmanabha and several of his comrades, prior to the Rajiv Gandhi assassination. It was gory scene and the assassins had used hundreds of bullets to kill their rivals.

- Asian Tribune -

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