Pune: "Rajiv Gandhi avarunde mandalai addipodalam. Dump pannidungo. Maranai vechidungo." ( Blow the head of Rajiv Gandhi, eradicate him, Kill him) was the first wireless intercept about the Rajiv Gandhi assassination and was heard by the People’s Liberation Organization of Tamil Ealam, a pro-government paramilitary, which was in logger heads with LTTE ( Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam) .
The intercept, which was heard in April 1990, was immediately reported to the intelligence wing of Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka after which intelligence agencies started monitoring wireless communication. Though they were able to trace a message between two unauthorized stations in Chennai and Jaffna in January 1991, they couldn’t break it as it was highly coded and had alphanumeric codes. No wireless messages were untangled till the death of Rajiv Gandhi. It was only after his assassination, a Special Investigation Team of CBI, after months of investigation, were able to decode the messages and found the involvement of LTTE in the assassination.
Now, after 27 years, the assassination of Former Prime Minister Rajeev Gandhi has again been in the limelight after it was mentioned in a letter, which was recovered by Pune police allegedly from the computer of Delhi based activist Rona Wilson.
Wilson along with anti-displacement activist Mahesh Raut, Nagpur University professor Shoma Sen, Nagpur based Lawyer Surendra Gadling and Mumbai based activist Sudhir Dhawle were arrested from Delhi, Nagpur and Mumbai on Wednesday for their alleged involvement in organizing Elgar Parishad; an event commemorating the 200th anniversary of Koregaon-Bhima battle between the armies of British and Peshwas.
But, the whole case took a new angle when a section of media went frenzied by the mention of the alleged assassination plot of current Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the lines similar to the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi and accused the arrested persons of the assassination plot.
Though the plot of Rajiv Gandhi's assassination had a highly coded nature of communication, the assassination plot of Prime Minister Narendra Modi had no secrecy to it. The Maoist letters allegedly recovered from Wilson's computer has a clear mention of the assassination plot and even has the names of political leaders, Party and social activists.
Although Maharashtra Director General of Police Satish Mathur on Saturday claimed in Pune that the letters are credible, there are various retired and active officers having decades of experience in handling Naxalism raised a question on the content of the letter which has a political overtone to it.
Rohan Nyayadheesh, a cyber expert based in Pune, said, “The letter mentioning the assassination plot has been typed from a mobile phone as per its font, auto dictionary and writing style whereas the other letter has been written on computer as it has alignment of lines (which means 'Justification' in computer language) . However, to reach a conclusion, we have to check the previous letters written by the persons in questions. In the letter written 'By Comrade M', there is not a single hyphen whereas the letter which mentions the assassination plot has four-five words with hyphens. These small things need to be analyzed to find about the originality of letters.
Nyayadheesh informed that the assassination plot letter has Calibri font and the letter from Comrade ‘M’ has Courier font. He said, “ Credibility of the letters can also be defined by knowing whether they have been retrieved after doing forensic procedure or were they found as it is in the computer, and if the letters were there as it is in the computer then police has checked Meta dex (File attributes) or not and if in case they have then whether it was matching or not. Meta Dex helps to let us know about the computer on which file has been made, it allows us to know about the revisions made to the file, who was the original creator etc. If revisions are more than once then it can be found out if the writer of the letter has completed them in one sitting or not.
A high ranking IPS officer from Intelligence department of Andhra Pradesh with an expertise on Maoism (on the condition of anonymity), said, “Maoist do write letters but they don’t write in such a long form. Mention of buying M-4 guns with 400000 lakhs rounds of bullets, strategy to mobilize people and discussing the assassination of PM is weird. I do have seen letters written by Maoists in my career but for the first time, I am seeing such kind of letter.
A source in the forensic department said, " We have not done any analysis of the letters, we just did the cloning of the hard disc and other devices. We don't know whether the letters were there inside the hard disc or not."
M.V Krishna Rao, Former Director General of (Sahastra Seema Bal) and Former ADG of CRPF, said, “First of all CPI (Maoists) will not recruit people who are known in public domain. These five people, Prakash Ambedkar or others who are mentioned in the letters are renowned in public domain and Maoists will never recruit such people who are famous. To be a member of the party or central committee nobody should be able to recognize you if you stand next to someone.”
“As far as I know, members of the central committee were not using computers 6-7 years back. I don’t know whether they have started using them now. The central committee members generally don't use the methodology of sending letters through emails, they used the methodology of couriers (couriers are 2 or 3 trusted people of CC members who are employed with the job to deliver their messages) and the letters are very short with not more than one or two sentences. A normal person will not be able to understand them as they have hidden meaning to it,” added Rao.
DR Karthikeyan, Former CBI officer and head of SIT which investigated Rajiv Gandhi's murder,said, "Any such kind of things or messages cannot be ignored, if any such things are appearing we have to take it seriously. We cannot say whether it is true or false. In Rajiv Gandhi case also there were some secret messages though not in open. The coded messages were exchanged between LTTE operatives in Jaffna and India in which they were targeting India and mentioned about the elimination of some important person, but these messages were decoded only after the assassination. It needs to be investigated then only we can arrive at to a conclusion."