Today is the 29th death anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. He was killed in a suicide attack at Sriperumbudur, Chennai on May 21, 1991. Tenmozhi Rajaratnam, also known as Tanu, is a member of the Sri Lankan militant group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Rajeev Gandhi, who became known as India’s ‘servant of the nation’ took the life of a self-inflicted suicide bomber.
His assassination during the Lok Sabha elections had shaken the entire Indian political world. That was his last public appearance. Rajiv Gandhi and 13 others were killed in the suicide attack.
They decided to assassinate him in protest of the violence that the Indian Peace Corps had come to end the Sri Lankan civil war. Rajeev, the eldest son of Feroze Gandhi and Indira Gandhi, was elected Prime Minister at the age of forty.
After the election campaign in Visakhapatnam on May 21, 1991, he arrived at Sriperumbudur and was waiting for the suicide bomber. As he walked towards the Rajiv Gandhi venue, accepting bouquets and wreaths given by the people, the suicide bomber who was waiting for the blessing of the suicide bomber, bent down to touch his leg and burst into his waist. Later, it was discovered that there was a huge sphere of fire.
The mastermind behind the assassination was the leadership of the Tigers who wanted an independent Tamil state in Sri Lanka. Under Rajiv Gandhi’s prime ministerial position, India had sent troops to assist the Sri Lankan government in the civil war.
Rajiv Gandhi and the then Sri Lankan President JR Jayawardene signed the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord in July 1987. According to the agreement, the LTTE was disbanded and Tamil was made one of Sri Lanka’s official languages.
In an interview with The Sunday Times on August 21, 1990, Tamils were disturbed by the statement that they would send a peacekeeping force to restore peace in Sri Lanka if he re-assumed office. The LTTE’s assassination was planned to prevent Rajiv Gandhi from coming to power, as terrorist organizations feared that India would again participate in the Sri Lankan civil war.
Chandrasekhar, who came to power after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, left the CBI inquiry to the CBI. A special team led by Karthikeyan was investigating the case.
The investigation into the murder was carried out by the LTTE and 26 persons were found guilty. The special court then sentenced everyone to death. This was a shocking verdict for the country’s legal experts. Rajiv Gandhi was the sixth Prime Minister. In 1984, at the age of forty, he became the youngest Prime Minister of the country. Burial was near the burial ground of mother, brother and grandfather along the river Yamuna in Delhi. The stadium is known as ‘Veerabhumi’.