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Jain Commission Interim Report

Growth of Sri Lankan Tamil Militancy in Tamil Nadu
Chapter III - Phase III (1989 -May 1991)

Sections 1 to 5

1 Change of Government at the Centre: Chandrashekhar becomes Prime Minister -Nov. 10, 1990 | 2 Press Conference of Admiral Ramdas at Madras | 3 Police raids at LTTE Base at Thillai Nagar, Trichy - 30.11.1990 | 4 Evidence of Shri Nagarajan and its credibility | 5 Letter of Shri R Nagarajan and its credibility

Change of government at the Centre--Chandrashekhar becomes Prime Minister

64 On 7th November, 1990, Shri V.P. Singh lost a vote of confidence in the Parliament and submitted his resignation as Prime Minister. The President of India accepted the resignation the next day, on 8th November, 1990. Shri Chandrashekhar was sworn in as the new Prime Minister of India on 10th. November, 1990. His Government was supported by the Congress (I) from outside.

Developments in Tamil Nadu, by then, had come under severe criticism from various political parties and had prominently figured in the Parliament session of August, 1990. Soon after Shri Chandrashekhar took over as Prime Minister, there were demands from several quarters that the Central Government should intervene and bring the deteriorating law and order situation in Tamil Nadu, caused due to the LTTE activities, under control.

Press conference of Admiral Ramdass at Madras:-

64.1 Another significant development occurred when, Vice Admiral L. Ramdass of the Indian Navy, who was on a visit to Madras held a press conference on 15th November, 1990,(Annexure M-106) and alleged that a number of Sri Lankan Tamil Militants apprehended by the Naval authorities on charges of smuggling and gun running had subsequently been let off by the Tamilnadu Government in the last few months.

He also observed that the free movement of these armed elements in the State may pose a threat to the safety and security of the people. In reply to another question, Vice-admiral Ramdass stated that it was not possible for the Naval personnel to distinguish a genuine person from a militant and added that it was for the Tamil Nadu Government to screen them and ascertain as to who they are. He commented that there should be a will on the part of the State Government to flush out the militants.

This statement of Admiral Ramdass, which was prominently reported in the media at that time, compelled the Chief Minister Shri M. Karunanidhi to react sharply. On 18th November, 1990, Shri Karunanidhi accused Admiral Ramdas of resorting to a scandal campaign against the Tamil Nadu Government and pointed out that it was strange that a Naval Officer should have joined the list of some politicians who were on a smear campaign against the DMK regime. He also refuted the Naval Officer's remarks about the release of Sri Lankan Militants apprehended by the Navy and stated that only about 100 refugees have been apprehended by the Navy and most of them were either sent to the refugee camps or returned to Sri Lanka. Shri Karunanidhi also stated that the Naval officers had never raised this issue earlier in the Coordination meetings held by the State Government.

Admiral Ramdas, during his deposition before the Commission and in his affidavit filed before the Commission, has admitted having issued the statement. In his affidavit no. 304/95-JCI, he submitted :-

8. " ...... I had said that most of the 80-90 persons of Sri Lankan origin who had been apprehended for violation of the Indian waters and handed over to the Tamil Nadu Police, had been released after barely two to three days without any proper investigation and interrogation. I had also mentioned that it was primarily the responsibility of local State Government authorities to screen all such suspected and apprehended persons to prevent infiltration by the LTTE."

64.2 After the Government of Chandrashekhar assumed power at the Centre, the State Government, in order to reverse the impression which had been gaining considerable ground that the LTTE was functioning in Tamil Nadu with impunity, attempted to make some attempts to control the LTTE activities in Tamil Nadu.

In November end, 1990, raids were conducted by the State Police and some LTTE cadres, including some injured cadres were picked up. It is, however, noticed that the police action was rendered largely ineffectual due to hectic political lobbying by the LTTE at the highest level resulting in non arrest of certain important cadres who were rounded up and prompt release on bail of other cadres arrested.

An operation was launched by the State police on 24th November, 1990, (SIB/ Madras, messages Nos. 535 & 538/90)(Annexure M-107 and M-108) in which a hide out of the LTTE in Madras was raided by the Tamil Nadu Police and three injured cadres of the group who were put up in the house were rounded up. Ten other cadres reportedly fled away in Maruti Gypsy.

The LTTE engaged in hectic political lobbying after this. It is reported that the LTTE operative Kiruban contacted Shri V. Gopalaswamy in this connection. The other important LTTE representative, Kasi Anandan, reportedly met Shri Karunanidhi on 25th November, 1990, in connection with the release of the three detained cadres. He also met Shri Nagarajan, the Home Secretary.

It is reported that Shri Nagarajan spoke to high police officials in the presence of Kasi Anandan and assured the LTTE representative that the cadres will be set free by Nov.26.

However, in another case of a police raid on an LTTE hideout at Thillai Nagar, Tiruchirapalli, on 30th November, 1990, and ensuing events, there is seen further evidence of the direct interference indicating the nexus between the State Government and LTTE.

Police raids at LTTE base at Thillai Nagar, Trichy: 30th November 1990

64.2.1 As per the reports furnished by the State Police, a strong police contingent raided a house in Thillai Nagar, Tiruchirapalli, in the early hours of 30.11.90 and arrested 10 LTTE cadres. The contemporaneous report of the 'Q' Branch, CID states :- (Annexure M-109)

"Police recovered one 9 mm. pistol, 5 barrels containing about 500 litres of kerosene, 13 wooden boxes containing plaster of paris, 2 gunny bags with nylon nets, 1 gunny bag containing cotton waste and 18 fifty-litre empty plastic cane. The arrested persons were Kumar, Gunaseelan, Raja, Bavi, Roopan, Ranjan, Ravi, Suman, Ramesh and Vinod. ... A Maruti Gypsy green jeep TSR 0753 and a Mitsubishi Canter Van TN-07- were also seized from them. In this connection a case in Woraiyur PS Cr.No.1469/90 u/s 12(1) (c) r/w 14 of Indian Pass Act and Section 25(1)(A r/w Section 3 of Indian Arms Act an Section 7(1)(A) Criminal Law Amendment Act was registered."

A contemporaneous report of the I.B. gives a vivid account of the interference during the raid and how at least two key LTTE cadres - Kiruban and Kasi Anandan - were let off. The report (Annexure M- 110), inter alia, states :-

"A posse of policemen converged on the Thillai Nagar hide-out of LTTE in Tiruchirappalli in the early hours of today (Nov.30) and laid siege to the premises that had 19 LTTE cadres including Kiruban and Kasi Anandan, the LTTE representative liaising with the Tamilnadu Government. The cadres refused to let the police in and issued an ultimatum to the effect that if the siege was not lifted by 12 noon today, all the cadres would consume cyanide and commit suicide.

2. The Madras based cadres tried to contact the Home Secretary, Government of Tamilnadu, as well as V.Gopalaswamy, MP/DMK, to convey the message and seek their intervention to settle the matter..... Kumar, the Propagandist managed to meet the Chief minister of Tamilnadu at Anna Arivalayam (DMK Party Office), Madras. According to Kumar, Karunanidhi expressed inability to intervene since inaction would invite problems for his government. ..... . However, Karunanidhi offered to let out Kasi Anandan, the elderly LTTE representative but declined to consider the case of Kiruban, who heads the LTTE set-up in Tamilnadu...... "

Other intelligence reports specifically list out the names of six important LTTE functionaries who were present in the hideout and were not arrested. These were Kiruban @ Salim (In charge of the Tamilnadu unit), Menon (In charge Trichy area), Romeo (In charge Salem area), Aruna & Radha ((LTTE navigators) and Kesavan (In charge shore operations). (Annexures M-111 and M-112)

Romeo was arrested subsequently in the crackdown following the imposition of the President's Rule in Tamil Nadu. His interrogation by the Intelligence Bureau, threw more light on the above episode. As per his interrogation report :-

COMPUTER MESSAGE NO. 260/91 dt. 24.02.1991 from JD/SZ to D.I.B., INTERROGATION REPORT OF ROMEO (24.02.1991)

"1. Romeo and Kiruban were among the two let off by the DMK Government from the Thillai Nagar hide-out on Nov.30, 1990. Romeo had surrendered one pistol to the police that day."

Let us see whether this version of the I.B. gets substantiated by the other evidence available before the Commission. Kasi Anandan, who was the key LTTE functionary present in the house and was not arrested, was examined in details during his deposition before the Commission. He has given the following account of the Thillai Nagar raids and subsequent developments :-

Nov. 1990 I was at Tiruchi at Thillai Nagar, at the house maintained by Kumar. There was a raid of that house. Some boys were arrested. Kumar, Radhayan, Suresh and about six or seven others were rounded up. I was also rounded up. That house was sealed and we were released..... Only two of us were released. Those who were not released did not make any protests I do not know why those who were not released were kept in custody. At that time the Government had started arresting LTTE boys. I was released even without protest and I do not know how I was released."

In his statement given before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Tiruchy, u/s 164 (5) Cr.P.C., Shri Nagarajan alleged that regarding the arrest of Kasi Anandan, he was informed by the DIG CID Shri Jaffar Ali that Kasi Anandan had been released on the oral instructions of the Chief Minister Shri Karunanidhi.

However, during his deposition before the Commission, on 10th March, 1997, Shri Jaffar Ali, the then DIG, CID, stated :-

"...... Kasi Anandan was not present in the house where gelatine sticks were seized from the Thillainagar house. Kasi Anandan was picked up from a place which was raided on the basis of information furnished by the Q Branch. Out of 11 persons secured, Kasi Anandan alone was released on the instructions of Mr. Nagarajan. When I asked Mr. Nagarajan about this, he informed me that Kasi Anandan has been living in Tamil Nadu for so many years and he has not committed any offence. So he has asked for his release. Only Kasi Anandan was released."

The fact that Kasi Anandan was released is not disputed by anyone. The versions are different. An impression is created by these differing versions that the entire State machinery was, in one way or the other, involved in supporting the LTTE at that time, and it appears that the police were evidently not given a free hand while dealing with the LTTE.

This impression is strengthened by the statement given by the then DIG, Tiruchy, Shri Saravanaperumal, in whose jurisdiction, Thillai Nagar, Tiruchy came. Before the enquiry officer, looking into the departmental misconduct of Shri Nagarajan and Shri Jaffar Ali, Shri Saravanaperumal stated :-

Statement of Shri S. Saravanaperumal, I.P.S. to the Board of Inquiry

"....... I was D.I.G. of Police, Thiruchirapalli range from July 1989 to July, 91..... Thiru Jaffar Ali was the D.I.G. of Police, Intelligence and Thiru R.Nagarajan was the Secretary, Home. On 30.11.90, we raided a house in Thillai Nagar. S.P., Tiruchy, and his officers were also participated in the raid. .... The party and the Supdt. of Police, Tiruchy Thiru Rathinasabapathy, secured 11 Sri Lankans who were suspected militants, from that house. ...... The secured persons were taken to Woraiyur Police Station. In the evening at about 3.00 P.M., Thiru Rathinasabapathy, the Supdt.of Police, telephoned to me and said that he received a telephone message from Q-Branch, C.I.D., Madras to release one Kasianandhan, who was among the 11 persons secured. I telephoned to Thiru Jaffar Ali, the D.I.G. (Intelligence) .... The D.I.G., Intelligence replied that it was a fact that the Q-Branch, C.I.D. asked the release of Kasianandhan. Within a few minutes, I received a telephone message from Thiru R.Nagarajan the Home Secretary, he questioned me as to why I was hesitating to release Kasianandhan. Thiru Nagarajan told me that Kasianandhan was not a militant and so he could be released. I informed this to the Supdt.of Police, Tiruchy, and Kasianandhan was let off. "

There was a further development in the matter. On the same day, ie, 30th November, 1990, further raids were conducted at Samayapuram and Enchur areas of Tiruchy district and a large stock of explosives was unearthed but none was apprehended. (Annexure M-113)

Later, two Indian Tamils, Satyamoorthy and Sadasivam, who had rented the premises were picked up by the CID.

Subsequently, after the arrest of Romeo, an LTTE cadre, his interrogation revealed that a powerful wireless set was also functioning from Samayapuram :-

COMPUTER MESSAGE NO. 260/91 dt. 24.02.1991 from JD/SZ to D.I.B.,


"9. Powerful wireless set (sophisticated H.F. transmitter) was in Samayapuram hide-out. It was a mobile set using which contacts could be established with 'land'."

In his statement given u/s 164 (5) Cr.P.C., Shri R. Nagarajan has alleged that actually the DIG Shri Saravanaperumal who had supervised the raid, had found a large quantity of gelatine sticks, but only a small quantity was seized. The remaining explosives were returned to the LTTE cadres on oral instructions from DIG/CID and the Chief Minister.

The incidents at Thillai Nagar and Samayapuram are a sad commentary on the functioning of the State Administration. Law enforcement in the State appears to have been frequently subjected to blatant interferences both from the political executive as well as the bureaucracy directly concerned with law and order in the State. It is obvious that the hands of the police were tied when it came to tackling LTTE militancy. The LTTE was regularly getting away by threatening the local police authorities with impunity. The LTTE functionaries operating from the State were getting the political leadership of the State to intervene on their behalf every time the police showed sincerity in tackling them firmly.

Evidence of Shri Nagarajan and its credibilty

64.3 Shri R.Nagarajan was Secretary to the Chief Minister Shri M.Karunanidhi from 1973 to 1976. When Shri Karunanidhi again returned to power and became the Chief Minister in 1989 he took over as Secretary to Home Department.

Shri R.Nagarajan appeared as a witness of Shri V.P.Singh VPS/W-11. Shri Nagarajan was involved in two cases, one regarding the incident of instigating an attack on a Newspaper Office on 18.9.1991 and the other case was Padmanabha Murder case, under TADA. The charge against him was lapse on his part in not apprehending the culprits.

In his deposition on 3rd June 1996, he stated that he did not make any statement before the Police. He himself volunteered a statement before the Magistrate. The reason given by him of his volunteering a statement under Sec.164(5) of Cr.P.C. was that the Superintendent of Police, 'Q' Branch was asked to fabricate a statement of his under Sec 15 of TADA Act because the S.P. is empowered to record a statement which the accused need not sign and having smelt this in the Jail, to avert this, he volunteered to give the statement. It is not a statement as accused.

When certain portions of his statement were put to him on the basis of attested true copy of the statement submitted by the S.P. 'Q' Branch, Madras, filed along with the affidavit dated 28th March 1992 of the D.G. of Police, Shri Sripall, Shri Nagarajan replied that he would not be in a position to reply unless original statement signed by him and by the Magistrate is shown to him. But subsequently he said that if a certified copy is shown to him he would be satisfied. He was confronted with the certified copy of the statement under Sec. 164(5) of Cr.P.C.(Annexure M-38) whereupon he said that whatever statement he gave before the Magistrate is a true statement and not a false one. This certified copy was marked-ed Ex.429. The earlier copy confronted to him was marked Ex 397. From the statement of Shri R.Nagarajan it would appear that there was complicity or involvement of Shri M.Karunanidhi and his statement clearly brings out the nexus between Shri Karunanidhi and LTTE and that Shri Karunanidhi was fully supporting the actions of LTTE and the cause of the LTTE.

A suggestion was made to him by Shri Shunmugasundaram, Counsel for Tamil Nadu Govt that he gave the statement under Sec. 164(5) of Cr.P.C. for getting out from the bail, Sh.Nagarajan deposed that he was released on bail on 20.6.1992 whereas he gave the statement on 30th November 1991. He also denied the suggestion that he was pressurised by the political parties to make a statement under Section 164(5) of Cr.P.C. and deposed that he has no link with any political party. When he was questioned as to why he did not mention the facts deposed by him under Sec.164(5) of Cr.P.C. in the affidavit before the Jain Commission or in the explanation before the Government to show cause notice he said that whatever he has stated under Sec.164(5) of Cr.P.C. was not necessary to be given in the affidavit before the Commission nor before the Govt in his explanation.

Shri R.Nagarajan in his statement under Section 164(5) of Cr.P.C. stated the following facts:

1. The policy direction given by the then Chief Minister was not to obstruct anyone coming for treatment from Sri Lanka. Police could not screen them. Law enforcing authority pointed out, in the meetings, to the Chief Minister that it would force a serious threat in the maintenance of law and order. The Chief Minister showed no response. The Chief Minister clearly refused to receive the IPKF and stated that IPKF was responsible for killing LTTE cadres. The meeting of LTTE Team with the Chief Minister encouraged LTTE's enthusiasm. The officials were kept out of these meetings. The 'Q' Branch officials told that LTTE militants and other Sri Lankan Groups used to meet the then Chief Minister periodically only at his Oliver Road residence and their identity is only known to CM's personal Assistant Shri K.Shunmuganathan.

On 18.2.1990 two LTTE militants travelling in cars returned from Rameswaram Sea-Shore after off- loading certain goods said to be medicines and ammunitions and their vehicles were checked at Pattinamkathan by the Police. In the shoot out, one policeman and another civilian were killed by LTTE militants.

During weekly Law and Order meeting, 'Q' Branch S.P. Sh.Subramaniam reported that there was an employee of Pandiyan Hotel in the Maruti Van who happened to be a close friend of Sh.M.Alagiri the son of the Chief Minister. When the DG(P) conveyed it to be Chief Minister in the presence of Shri R.Nagarajan, the Chief Minister showed no reaction and denied DG(P)'s version. The date of schedule of operation was changed at the behest of Chief Minister for Pattinamkathan shoot out. Sh.R.Nagarajan was so informed by DG(P) on phone and Shri Nagarajan also confirmed it from DIG Sh.G.S.Ramanan. It was also confirmed by the Chief Minister. The operation was carried out after sometime. Nothing was found on the spot except motor-cycle.

As regards Padmanabha killing he stated that he informed the news to the Chief Minister on telephone in Tamil Nadu House in Delhi. He had no details at that time. So could not convey the details to the Chief Minister. He got the information at 8.45 P.M. and immediately informed the Chief Minister. At 9.30 P.M. Commissioner, City Police contacted him and gave some details that the assailants escaped in a white Ambassador Car. Then, DG(P) informed, got the police alerted and IG(P) (Crimes) Sh.Dorai Raju was put in charge of tracing out the assailants.

At about 10.45 PM, DG(P) again contacted him. At that time when details were available, he asked what steps were taken to apprehend the culprits, DG(P) informed him that the Chief Minister had asked him that the Police need not evince keen interest to trace them out till his arrival the next day for further instructions. The Dy Commissioner of Police (Law & Order)Madras City and two other officials contracted him. He told them that they may keep in touch with the DG(P). BBC reported in the night that LTTE had no hand in the shoot out on the basis of the version of DG(P), thereupon he questioned the DG(P). DG(P) denied the BBC version. When he asked about CM's instruction to DG(P) from DIG(CID) Sh.Jaffar Ali, he also confirmed it. In the Law and Order meeting next day, IC(Crimes) Sh.Dorai Raju informed that the assailants snatched one Maruti van belonging to some passerby at Villupuram near Railway Gate and the passerby met him the office.

On 20th June, 1990, the Chief Minister returned from Delhi and took up the special law and order totally and he informed the IG(Crimes) and the DIG/CID to meet him every day and inform the progress in the investigation. Only weekly reports were received in the Secretariat which reflected no progress. There was slackness on the part of the Crime Branch and the culprits escaped to Sri Lanka.

A report was received through the Press about LTTE activities in a particular residence at Tiruvanaikaval. The DIG, Tiruchi, Sh. Saravanaperumal was asked to reach the place, arrest, but there was heavy local political pressure and MLA from the ruling party namely Malarvannan prevailed upon the police from entering into the premises. The Chief Minister was contacted. Nothing was recovered except some bundles of clothes.

Deputy Secretary to C.M., Shri K.Shunmuganathan brought one Kasi Anandan. He requested for release of LTTE detenu. He contacted the Chief Minister on phone and he asked for his release but he informed the C.M. that only the Advisory Board can take a decision. He also said in his statement about transporting of large quantities of diesel, kerosene, clothes, medicines, some explosives. Chief Minister, during his camp at Tiruchi, orally informed DIG, Tiruchy, Mr Saravanaperumal, that transport of essential goods by LTTE men need not be obstructed. this was further confirmed by DIG/CID.

Once the Police raided a house at Thillai Nagar, Tiruchy and seized 1000 litres of petrol. It was reported over phone that 11 persons were arrested but the Daily Situation Report carried only 10 names. On being questioned, DIG/CID informed Shri Kasi Anandan who was found in the house was allowed to go without arrest at the oral instruction of the Chief Minister.

Another raid was arranged by DIG Sh.Saravanaperumal at Samayapuram. At the first instance, it was reported that huge quantities of gelatine sticks were removed earlier at Thillai Nagar House stored in a farm house in a village near Samayapuram. Subsequently officially it was reported that only few quantities of seizure was made and the rest of the quantities were handed over to the same persons who stored it earlier at Thillai Nagar house, getting oral instructions from DIG/CID and the Chief Minister.

One LTTE cadre met with an accident at Egmore when he was driving a motor-cycle. A sum of Rs. 20,000 was recovered. the City Police Commissioner Sh.P.Dorai informed that a request from Smt Subbulakshmi Jagdeesan, Minister, to release him without registering a case. But Sh.Nagarajan informed the Commissioner not to conceal and he also contacted the Minister. She replied that she did not ask for the release, she only asked for return of the money. Regarding money, she phoned that money was given by one of her personal Assistants.

A list of persons who were aiding, abetting and smuggling of goods, explosives and other essential items was prepared by Mr Jaffar Ali on his instructions. It contained the names of 26 persons with their addresses, regarding prior clearance of the Chief Minister must be obtained as arrests made have some political repercussions. The C.M. cleared only 6 persons in the list and 20 persons were excluded.

There was an unofficial report of increased activity of LTTE in Ramnad, Thanjavur, Pudukottai coastal areas particularly at Pillaiyarthidal. A suggestion was made to depute a Senior Police Officer there. Some names were given. Chief Minister suggested the name of Sh.Jaffar Ali. After his visit, he gave report denying the LTTE activities in the coastal areas.

Similarly, during November, 1990, Sh.Raj Mohan, IG was asked by the C.M. to inspect the coastal areas in Ramanathapuram, Thanjavur and Pudukottai districts. He made the visit and denied the existence of LTTE. The Chief Minister used to give oral orders which were conveyed to the various officers who were in the field and such communication was through DIG/CIG who had direct contact with the Chief Minister.

From the statement of Sh.R.Nagarajan, it appears that LTTE activity was allowed to continue and they had full support from the Chief Minister, and DIG/CID, it appears, was a man of CM's confidence. So, all instruction were used to be given to him and he acted under his instructions and submitted reports favourable to the LTTE. From the statement of Sh.R.Nagarajan it transpires that LTTE enjoyed political patronage and the Police machinery was used in a manner by the Chief Minister so that action may not be possible against the LTTE activists.

It will have to be seen whether any credence is to be given to this statement of Shri R.Nagarajan, whether this statement of Shri R.Nagarajan stands countered by the letter dated 30-11-1991 alleged to have been written by him to the then Chief Minister, Ms.J.Jayalalitha. so far as countering the statement by production of the letter by Shri M.Karunanidhi is concerned, it will be separately dealt with but in case the statement of sh.R.Nagarajan given to the Magistrate gets corroboration from the Intelligence Reports or from the statements of any other witness like Shri Kasi Anandan or from other evidences on record, the statement of Sh.R.Nagarajan cannot be brushed aside simply on the basis that he was an accused in two cases and he happened to give that statement so that he may be able to seek a bail.

It is true that the version given by him in his statement regarding Sh.M.Karunanidhi and Sh.Jaffar Ali does not find mention in the explanation submitted by him to the charge sheet and also in the affidavit filed by him before the Commission. How far the absence of this version in these two documents will demolish the value of his statement before the Judicial Magistrate is to be judged in the light of other material on record. If there is other material on record which corroborates and supports the version and if that material on record is credible, trust-worthy, inspiring, then the version given by Shri R.Nagarajan would carry credibility.

Letter of Shri R Nagarajan to Selvi Jayalalitha?

64.4 In order to counter the statement of Shri R. Nagarajan, Shri M. Karunanidhi produced a letter (Exhibit 552) purported to be written and signed by Shri R. Nagarajan addressed to Ms. J. Jayalalitha, the then Chief Minister, on the very day when the statement under Section 164(5), Cr.P.C. was recorded, along with its envelope (Exhibit 553).

According to Shri Karunanidhi, whatever statement Mr. Nagarajan gave, was given at the instance of Ms. Jayalalitha, which is established by the contents of the letter. Mr. Nagarajan in his statement under Section 164(5), Cr.P.C., has deposed that the DGP informed him that the Chief Minister has asked him (DGP) that the Police need not evince keen interest to trace out the culprits in the Padmanabha massacre till his arrival the next day for further instructions from him. In this regard, the version of Shri Karunanidhi is that the statement made by Mr. Nagarajan in connection with the Padmanabha murder case is all false. He was in Delhi at the time of Padmanabha incident and on learning about the incident in Delhi, he immediately contacted Mr. Nagarajan and gave instructions to apprehend the culprits and intensify the investigations. He also told him that the LTTE must be involved in this. Shri Karunanidhi gave a press statement in Delhi which appeared in The Hindu dated 21.6.1990 "LTTE's involvement suspected" (Exhibit 551).

The statement in Padmanabha murder case was given by Mr. Nagarajan as a TADA prisoner. According to Shri Karunanidhi, Mr. Nagarajan was allowed to remain in hospital and was even allowed to give press conference in the hospital. Before his statement was completed, a copy of the statement was distributed to the press by the police that appeared same evening in the newspapers. Shri Karunanidhi also deposed that Mr. Nagarajan was arrested during Ms. Jayalalitha's regime. He was involved in two cases; one, regarding the incident of instigating an attack on "Tharasu" newspaper's office on 18.9.1991, and the other case was the Padmanabha murder case. Shri Karunanidhi stated that disciplinary inquiry was initiated against Mr. Nagarajan, a show-cause notice was issued to him, the charge against him was that he did not conduct himself properly in the investigation of cases like the Padmanabha murder case, his alleged misconduct in not getting the Padmanabha killers apprehended. He has not levelled any accusation against him (Shri Karunanidhi) in his reply to the charges served on him nor he accused him in the affidavit filed before the Commission.

The submission on behalf of Shri Karunanidhi is that Mr. Nagarajan is a pliable civil servant and in order to gain favour and to be released out on bail, he had obliged Ms. Jayalalitha in giving his statement under Section 164(5) Cr.P.C. Such a conduct of Mr. Nagarajan is clearly established from the contents of the letter written by him to Ms. J. Jayalalitha on the very day of making statement before the Magistrate.

The production of the alleged letter of Mr Nagarajan during recording of the statement of Shri Karunanidhi on 22.11.1996 raised a very serious question, as to whether such a letter was written by Mr. Nagarajan to the then Chief Minister Ms. J. Jayalalitha on 30.11.1991. If it is found established that such a letter was written, then it is to be seen, as to whether, whatever statement Mr. R. Nagarajan gave before the Magistrate, was under pressure of Ms. Jayalalitha or at her behest to gain any favour. If the story regarding this letter is found incredible, the truth or otherwise of the statement given by Mr. Nagarajan to the Magistrate requires to be examined independently. For determination of that question, there may be some evidence which may have some bearing on the credibility of the statement of Mr. Nagarajan before the Magistrate.

A very searching and lengthy cross-examination has been directed by Shri K.V. Viswanathan, Counsel for the AIADMK and Ms. Jayalalitha. In the cross- examination, Shri Karunanidhi came out with a story that the correspondence between the two Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh relating to Krishna Waters was called by him. When a search was made with regard to that correspondence between the two Chief Ministers on Krishna Waters, in that file this envelope containing the letter, Exhibit 552, was found which was produced by Mr. Ramaswamy, Special Secretary, before him. This is how the letter came to the notice of Shri Karunanidhi. When this letter was shown by Mr. Ramaswamy to him, that file was with Shri Ramaswamy. The file in which the letter was found normally contains correspondence relating to Krishna Waters.

I may first see the contents of the letter. The letter reads as under :

"R. Nagarajan, Tiruchirrapalli, I.A.S.


Respected Madam Chief Minister,

I have done my duty and I will stand by it all the time to come. I feel that I have unloaded a heavy weight from my heart. Once again I am greatful for your noble and kind gesture. Awaiting for your further orders and instructions.

My respectful regards,

Yours sincerely,

Sd/ 30.11.91"

Shri Karunanidhi stated that he does not remember the date as to when the letter was shown to him or when the letter came to his notice. He has given an approximate time when the letter was found. At one place, he stated that the letter was found about a month ago, meaning thereby, about 22.10.1996. He gave his statement on 22.11.1996. At other place, he has deposed that the letter was seen by him 2-3 months after assuming office. He assumed office of Chief Minister on 13.5.1996. According to this statement, the letter had come to his notice either in the month of July or August, 1996.

Mr. Nagarajan was examined by the Commission on 3.6.1996, 16.9.1996 and 17.9.1996 but the letter was not put to him in his cross-examination. Similarly, Ms. Jayalalitha was examined by the Commission on 19.11.1996. The letter was not even confronted to her. As a matter of fact, Mr. Rakesh Sharma, Counsel for the DMK, though was present in the morning session but he did not appear in the afternoon session. No cross- examination was directed on behalf of Shri M. Karunanidhi and the DMK Party. Such an important piece of evidence having not been confronted to the author of the letter and to the addressee of the letter, casts a very serious doubt about its genuineness. Else, by confronting the letter, questions ought to have been put that the letter was addressed by Mr. Nagarajan to Ms. J. Jayalalitha at her behest in order to gain some favour.

Shri Karunanidhi in his statement has said that he did not inform about the letter to any one except his Counsel. This means that the Counsel was aware of the existence of the letter. Although the very day when the letter was found, it could have been publicised. It is ununderstandable that having found such an important piece of evidence against his political opponent, he did not go to the Press. According to Shri Karunanidhi, he did not think it proper to go to the Press as he wanted to produce the letter before the Commission. Then, immediately after the letter was found, an application could have been moved before the Commission stating how the letter was found, along with the letter and the envelope. But this also was not done. That also throws doubt on the veracity of this piece of evidence.

That apart, the whole story of finding out the letter in the Krishna Waters file, does not inspire confidence. It is unbelievable and unacceptable that such a letter with its envelope could remain in the correspondence between the two Chief Ministers in the Krishna Water file.

This aspect cannot be lost sight of that the alleged letter is not an official letter. If it is taken to be an official letter, it would have been so dealt with. It would have been diarised and numbered and its entry would have been found in some record. It appears to be a personal letter written by Mr. R. Nagarajan. It is inconceivable that such a personal letter would have remained in the official record. Ms. Jayalalitha is not such an unintelligent lady so as to leave the letter in the file. Her natural conduct would have been either she would have destroyed it or would have put it in her own brief case or in her own private record.

The letter is said to have been found by Mr. Ramaswamy. Mr. Ramaswamy has not been examined on behalf of Shri M. Karunanidhi. It was he who found the letter and it was he who brought the letter to the notice of the Chief Minister. Shri Karunanidhi has deposed on the basis of what was given out by Mr. Ramaswamy to Shri Karunanidhi. Shri Karunanidhi may be true when he said that the letter was brought to his notice by Mr. Ramaswamy. Then it was all the more necessary for Shri Karunanidhi to have examined Mr. Ramaswamy.

In the absence of his statement, this version cannot be accepted that the letter was found by him in the correspondence between the two Chief Ministers in the Krishna Water file. As stated earlier, if such a letter would have been found, Shri Karunanidhi would have made it public. This would have been the normal and natural conduct of a politician like Shri Karunanidhi of very long standing. Giving of such statement to the Press would not have been uncommon. When such an important piece of evidence had come in his hands, he would have certainly made use of it both against Mr. Nagarajan as well as against Ms. Jayalalitha.

The word 'greatful' occurs in the letter, Exhibit 552. The spelling of this word as recorded in the letter is - greatful - which is incorrect. The correct spelling is 'grateful'. It is not expected from Shri R. Nagarajan that he would have committed this spelling mistake of such a common word 'grateful'. This mistake was not noticed by Shri M. Karunanidhi, although this letter was published in 'Murasoli' dated 23.11.1996 (Exhibit 632). 'Murasoli' is the organ of the DMK Party. It was printed in the issue of 23.11.1996 when the statement of Shri M. Karunanidhi remained incomplete after recording of his statement on two dates i.e. 22.11.1996 and 23.11.1996. It could have even been printed earlier in the 'Murasoli', DMK Party organ, when the letter was found. The reason given for, as to why publicity was not given to such an important piece of evidence, is not palatable more particularly when the same was not submitted to the Commission at the earliest.

According to Shri Karunanidhi, his assessment about Mr. Nagarajan now is that, for his selfish desires, he succumbs to pressure. Whether he was pliable, he does not know. This version of Shri Karunanidhi also does not deserve acceptance. The basis of this assessment is the letter itself. But if the whole theory of writing any letter by him to the then Chief Minister is false, this assessment about his personality does not survive.

On behalf of Shri Karunanidhi, an application (No.90/97-JCI) dated 10.3.1997 was moved to call for sample documents of the Government in the hand of Mr. Nagarajan and thereafter to send the letter for examination by hand-writing and document expert. This application was heard and was disposed of with the observation that the course of action should have been decided when the document was decided to be produced before the Commission, and that, what further action would be proper is for the DMK Party to decide.

It may however be mentioned here that no prayer was made and no application was moved after disposal of the application for re-summoning Mr. Nagarajan or Ms. Jayalalitha. This conduct shows that Shri Karunanidhi did not think it proper to confront the letter to both of them after re-summoning. That could have been the appropriate course of action at that stage. The question could have arisen thereafter, as to whether any hand-writing expert is to be summoned or not. When such a course of action was not adopted, there was no need of summoning the hand-writing expert.

Thus, it appears that Shri Karunanidhi was not quite serious, after getting the letter, to prove it; else, the letter and the envelope would have been produced soon after they were found, along with an affidavit of Mr. Ramaswamy. Further, they would have been confronted to both Mr. Nagarajan and Ms. Jayalalitha. If, for any reason, they could not be confronted, an application could have been made to re-summon them. Even this was not done. It appears such a prayer was not made deliberately for the reason best known to him. If such a prayer for their recall would have been made, they would have been recalled and on his denial, the contents of the letter could have been asked to be written by Mr. R. Nagarajan and only thereafter it could have been sent to the hand-writing expert.

However, the Commission still thought it proper to obtain the version of Mr. Nagarajan and Ms. J.Jaya Lallitha Questionnaires were sent to both of them. Ms. Jayalalitha, in her affidavit No.362/97, stated,

"The purported letter of 30.11.1991, Ex.552, allegedly written by Mr. Nagarajan was never received by me. The suggestions put forth by the Counsel for Mr. Nagarajan only indicate that such a letter was never written by Mr. Nagarajan. I cannot recognise the hand-writing of Mr. Nagarajan. The letter which was never received by me has been produced only for the purpose of maligning me. If the letter was available to Shri Karunanidhi, I fail to understand as to why no question was asked about it and nothing was mentioned about it to me when I had deposed before the Hon'ble Commission on 19.11.1996. Going by the stand of the Counsel for Mr. Nagarajan, I am even inclined to believe that the letter is a forged letter. I vehemently deny the contention of Shri M. Karunanidhi that the statements to the Commission by Mr. R. Nagarajan were at my instance".

Mr. Nagarajan, in reply to the questionnaire, has stated in his affidavit No.376/97, "I deny the allegation that I have written a letter on 30.11.1996 addressed to former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu as I was in judicial custody at Tiruchirrapalli".

It is significant to note that Shri Karunanidhi was also cross-examined by the Shri Arumugam, Counsel for Shri.R. Nagarajan, on 23.11.1996. He suggested to Shri Karunanidhi that Exhibit 552 is not in the hand of Mr. Nagarajan and that it is not signed by him. Shri Karunanidhi answered that it is written in his hand and signed by him. When a suggestion was made that he was in judicial custody, such a letter could not have been written and sent without the knowledge of the authorities, Shri Karunanidhi denied the suggestion and further stated that in order to malign the DMK Party and in order to change the direction in the Padmanabha murder case, at the instance of the then Chief Minister, this letter had been written and sent with the connivance of the officials.

As against the deposition of Shri Karunanidhi, there is denial by both Mr. R. Nagarajan and Ms. J. Jayalalitha. In view thereof and in the light of what I have discussed above and the reasons which have been considered, the evidence of the letter is not acceptable as the very story is rendered unworthy of credence.

Coming to the question of reliability of the statement of Mr. R. Nagarajan under Section 164(5) Cr.P.C., Mr. N. Natarajan, Counsel for Shri M. Karunanidhi, submitted that de hors the letter, the statement of Mr. R. Nagarajan deserves to be rejected outrightly in view of the fact that the version given by him in this statement does not find place either in the explanation or reply submitted by him to the charge sheet dated 15.11.1991 or in the affidavit dated 31.12.1992 filed before the Commission.

How LTTE was operating in Tamil Nadu, whether it was operating with the support from the Chief Minister and whether it was operating with the support of the State Administration, including the police machinery, were all relevant in reply to the charge sheet levelled against him and it was all the more necessary for him to come out with the truth before the Commission in the affidavit filed by him, but having failed to come out with that version at the two stages, it should be taken that whatever statement he has given before the Magistrate and which now he adheres to before the Commission is palpably wrong and false. His simple reply to a question while deposing before the Commission that he did not think it necessary to make mention of that version in the reply to the charge sheet or in the affidavit before the Commission is far from satisfactory.

The contention of Shri Natarajan sounds quite plausible. If the version given by him before the Magistrate is a truthful version, then it was the duty of Mr. R. Nagarajan to have stated the whole truth in reply to the charge sheet as well as in the affidavit filed before the Commission. Non- mention of that version by itself can be considered sufficient to discard the version given before the Magistrate and adhered to before the Commission. But the question is whether on account of such an omission on the part of Mr. Nagarajan, the facts mentioned by him in his statement before the Magistrate can altogether be brushed aside and can be ignored, for sometimes voices get silenced for many reasons, say, politicisation, terrorisation, subordination, fear of action, infamy, service affiliation and association etc.

What value is to be attached to his statement before the Magistrate would, in my opinion, depend not solely on the conduct of omission on the part of Mr. Nagarajan but would depend on whether that version finds support, corroboration and stands established from other material on record. If the complicity or connivance on the part of the State apparatus is established from the material on record, then it can and should be found that the version given by Mr. Nagarajan to the extent it finds support and corroboration from trustworthy evidence, is truthful. So, it is to be seen as to what facts deposed by Mr. Nagarajan before the Magistrate and adhered to before the Commission find corroboration from other credible evidence with the Commission. From the statement of Mr. Nagarajan, it would appear that the LTTE activity was allowed to continue and had support from the Chief Minister and remained unchecked and unabated.

The writ of the LTTE ran not only in the Eastern coastal areas of Tamil Nadu but also in the interior of Tamil Nadu. From the statement of Mr. Nagarajan, it transpires that the LTTE enjoyed political patronage and the police machinery was used in a manner as desired by the Chief Minister, so far as the LTTE activists and operatives are concerned. And according to Mr. R. Nagarajan, the DIG, CID was a man of Chief Minister's confidence. So, before arriving at any finding on the evidentiary and probative assessment of the statement of Mr. R. Nagarajan, the other evidence, oral and documentary, has to be seen so as to judge to what extent the statement of Mr. R. Nagarajan gets corroboration.



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