MR. CHAIRMAN: That amounts to withdrawal.
SHRI RAM JETHMALANI: I am very happy that somebody has this photograph.
1511 hours (Mr. Speaker in the Chair)
SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA : Mr. Speaker, Sir, Jain Commission was appointed to inquire into the brutal assassination of Rajiv Gandhi and to find out facts of some of the aspects of the case. The entire country is interested to know as to who are the culprits and as to what is the conspiracy behind it. Before the Jain Commission was appointed, another Commission was appointed to go into certain other aspects of the case. Apart from these two Commissions, the Special Investigation Team was entrusted with the task of investigation and prosecution of the culprits.
I would like to draw the attention of this august House to the nature and the credibility of the Jain Commission Report. After the appointment of Verma Commission, Shri P.V.Narasimha Rao, the then leader of the Congress Party, wrote to the then Prime Minister of India Shri Chandra Shekhar, asking for enlargement of the terms of reference of the Commission. This was referred to Justice Verma.
What Justice Verma said - when this was referred to, when the proposal was made to enlarge the terms of reference of the Verma Commission - and I quote:
"The existing terms of reference alone fall within the purview of legitimate function of a sitting Judge of the Supreme Court of India. The suggested additions to these terms of reference being outside the domain of judicial function, the Government would also be aware that the Supreme Court subscribes to this view when it made an exception and agreed to spare the services of a sitting Judge to head the Commission."
He also adds -
"The matters covered by the suggested additional terms of reference do not fall within the scope of legitimate function of a sitting Judge and by its nature are within the scope and function of the investigating agency, which are engaged in the the task of investigation of crime."
Sir, when the Interim Report was presented, our party, the Communist Party of India (Marxists), observed that the Interim Report is a concoction of unsubstantiated and wild observations which are not expected from an Inquiry Commission. If we go through the Interim Report, the Final Report and also the ATR, all that what we said at the time when the Interim Report was presented, is correct.
Sir, I wish to refer to page 60 of Volume VI of the Final Report. It is a very interesting passage. What is there in page 60 of Volume VI of the Final Report? About the Interim Report, Justice Jain said:-
"I further feel that there is no clear perception in the general public about the scope of the Interim Report, which was confined to sequence of events and not the conspiracy aspect." Then again, he says -
"That the Interim Report did not go into the conspiracy aspect. There is no indictment in the Interim Report of any individual or organisation or party regarding any criminal conspiracy to assassinate Shri Rajiv Gandhi."
This was what Justice Jain said in regard to the Interim Report.
Sir, the political party which relied on this Interim Report and brought down the United Front Government owes apology to the entire nation for destabilising the elected Government. The BJP is happy because after elections it has come to power and now the BJP is utilising the Final Report for its sustenance and to continue in office.
That is why the ATR, which is a totally politically motivated Action Taken Report, has dragged one or two persons in order to placate one of its allies and to keep somebody under pressure.
Now, I will come to the Interim Report where militancy of Tamils has been referred to. There is a complete turn around in the Final Report. This is what Justice Jain has said and I am quoting it from Para 73.15, Page 936 of Volume 7 of the Interim Report.
"As the year 1988 drew to a close, the over all situation in Tamil Nadu had altered considerably. After Operation Tiger, the Sri Lankan militants had become very suspicious of authorities. Pirbhakaran had left India and the LTTE establishments in Tamil Nadu were operating with caution after deportation of 57 LTTE cadres activities of Sri Lankan militant groups were effectively subdued. It is seen by the end of 1988. The problems of militancy in Tamil Nadu have been overcome to a large extent.
The Indian Government of the day openly and overtly supported the militants and V. Pirbhakaran was quite close to him. The Centre had also helped the militants in training and arming the leaders then, while making militants, to devise peaceful solution of the ethnic issue, not for encouraging militant activities. But by then they were not indulging in anti-national activities which are required to be stopped totally when LTTE made Tamil Nadu an Air Base and launching pad for fighting IPKF. Injured LTTE Cadres were treated in Tamil Nadu, etc.
LTTE was getting its supplies including arms, ammunition, explosives and other essential items from Tamil Nadu to continue its fight against IPKF. That too with the support of the DMK Government administration, connivance with the Law enforcement agency."
This is very important.
"Prior to 1989, the militancy, particularly LTTE activity was not ant-national in character, although, smuggling activities in and out of Tamil Nadu source might be affecting Tamil Nadu economy maybe anti-national in that sense and contrary to the laws of the country which it appears were overlooked and not dealt with firmly having regard to the feelings, views, wishes and interest of the Indian Tamils. It had also some political consideration to gain favour of the local Tamils."
Prior to 1989, supporting, abetting, helping and assisting LTTE was not an anti-national activity as per Jain Commission Report.
But, since 1989 this has become anti-national activity. Sir, we will have to see why is it so. It is because in 1989, the National Front Government headed by Shri Vishwanath Pratap Singh came into power and the DMK Government was there in Tamil Nadu. How was the action which was not anti-national, rather patriotic, suddenly converted into anti-national activity? So, Sir, we have come to the conclusion that the Interim Report, the Final Report and also the Action Taken Report are politically motivated. ...(Interruptions)
SHRI C.P. RADHAKRISHNAN (COIMBATORE): The difference is the presence of IPKF in Sri Lanka and their coming back. That is the difference. ...(Interruptions)
MR. SPEAKER: Shri C.P. Radhakrishnan, are you giving a reply?
SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA : Sir, another serious observation in regard to the former Prime Minister had been made in the Interim Report. It says:
"A very serious question which requires very anxious consideration by the Commission is whether Shri V.P. Singh was actuated by malaise, bias or animus in not providing security of such nature and level as would have protected Shri Rajiv Gandhi. So far as animus is concerned, it is very difficult to fathom the heart and mind of any human being. It can be inferred by the circumstances. Extraneous considerations also appear to have been very much on focus. Can the action be said to be motivated on the part of Shri V.P. Singh and his Government? ... Serious anxiety and concern was lacking and responsibility for security was shifted to States without taking into account the non-availability of the required nature and quality of proximity, security, etc."
The next sentence says:
"The personal relations of Shri V.P. Singh with Shri Rajiv Gandhi were too strained and were far from normal and satisfactory. However, I leave this matter for soul searching by Shri V.P. Singh himself."
The next sentence says:
"The consequent assassination may not have been intended, but the devising of such inadequate alternative security schemes resulted into such unintended consequences."
In the Final Report, it is just the reverse. How did the Jain Commission come to the conclusion that the consequent assassination may not have been intended but devising of such inadequate alternative security schemes resulted into such unintended consequences? The Final Report says:
"Whatever has been alleged by Prof. Tewari against Shri V.P. Singh, Shri Chandra Shekhar, and Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao does not at all make out any case of conspiracy on their part. It is a figment of imagination and his own phraseology and manner in which he presented the matter. All the three occupied the high office of the Prime Minister and by on any stretch of imagination, can it be said that any one of them entertained any such intention to be in any way connected with the conspiracy to assassinate Shri Rajiv Gandhi."
The same person was casting a doubt about the sincerity of those former Prime Ministers and this led to another election in the country.
In the Final Report, Justice Jain has said something. He said:
"By no stretch of imagination can it be said that any of them entertained any such intention to be in anyway connected with the conspiracy to assassinate Rajiv Gandhi".
He tries to justify whatever he has said about the Tamils. I am quoting from Volume-VI, page 64. The expression used in the Interim Report is "that the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi would not have been possible, the way it has materialised, without the deep nexus of LTTE operatives with the Tamils in Tamil Nadu". It has damaged the Tamils. The expression in regard to such nexus with all the Tamils in Tamil Nadu, has created a lot of criticism not only in Tamil Nadu but also in the entire country. In the Final Report, Justice Jain has turned around. What has he said? He continues to say "It was never and could never have been intended to mean that such nexus was with all the Tamil-speaking people in Tamil Nadu. All the Tamils in Tamil Nadu cannot be even in the know of the activities and operations of LTTE". Then in the Interim Report, how could Justice Jain observe about the Tamil people that the assassination of Shri Rajiv Gandhi would not have been possible, the way it has materialised without the deep nexus of LTTE operatives with the Tamils in Tamil Nadu? He has not even said `some of the Tamils, or a section of the Tamils', but said, `the entire Tamil population'. Sir, if we see page 925 of Volume-VII, ... (Interruptions)
SHRI C.P. RADHAKRISHNAN : Whenever there is a problem in a particular place, without the help of the local people it cannot arise. That is what the Report says. It should not apply, in general, to all the Tamils in Tamil Nadu. Justice Jain has very clearly given his Report. Why is he putting like this? May I request this hon. House through you, Sir, that nobody should try to take a political mileage out of this?
MR. SPEAKER: Shri Radhakrishnan, he is not yielding. Please take your seat.
SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA : You have already explained. In the Interim Report, how could he write like this? How could he blame the entire Tamil population? After doing the damage, he turns around in the final report.. (Interruptions)
SHRI C.P. RADHAKRISHNAN : Tell me.
SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA : I will come to that. I am not blaming. (Interr|uptions)
MR. SPEAKER: Please understand this is not a `Question Hour'.
SHRI C.P. RADHAKRISHNAN : That is very important.
SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA : That is the responsibility of the Government. .. (Interruptions)
MR. SPEAKER: Shri Radhakrishnan, please take your seat. This is not a `Question Hour'.
SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA (BANKURA): At page 925, Volume II, it has been said:
"At different periods the nature and levels of militancy varied and a period came when it assumed an anti-national character penetrating into the social fabric of the Tamil population. The political parties too were intrigued. The ethnic issue was an emotional issue with all the Tamils."
On the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi I have already said what has been said about the Tamil people, later on in the Final Report he has changed.
I have already stated that Justice Jain himself said that in the Interim Report there was no indictment of any person or any political party. There is no such indictment in the Final Report also. How has the Government come to the conclusion to initiate an inquiry against Shri Karunanidhi? (Interruptions)
MR. SPEAKER: Please address the Chair, not the Members.
SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA : He is disturbing me.
SHRI C.P. RADHAKRISHNAN : A national leader was killed on the Tamil soil.
SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA :
What is the conclusion in the Final Report in regard to Shri Karunanidhi? Shri Karunanidhi was also not interrogated. On many matters his interrogation was quite relevant. It was also so. Then who who are the other persons who have not been interrogated? (Interruptions)
MR. SPEAKER: Do not disturb him.
SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA : What is there in the Action Taken Report?
On the role of Shri Karunanidhi the Commission has made serious observations in the Interim Report. What is the serious observation? There was no serious observation. It has stated :
"From an evaluation of the material the conclusion is irresistible that there was tacit support to LTTE by Karunanidhi and his Government and law enforcement agencies."
Who had not supported the LTTE? Prior to 1988 the MGR Government and the AIADMK Government also supported the LTTE, directly or indirectly.
SHRI R. MUTHIAH : We had supported the LTTE for a common cause, not to kill Rajiv Gandhi, nor to kill others.
SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA : The support to LTTE was for a noble cause.
SHRI C.P. RADHAKRISHNAN : This is a matter of national importance. (Interruptions)
MR. SPEAKER: Shri Radhakrishnan, what is this? Please take your seat. When your time comes you can speak.
MR. SPEAKER: Shri Radhakrishnan, please take your seat.
MR. SPEAKER: Shri Radhakrishnan, what is this?
SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA :In 1986, in Madurai, who were supporting Eelam for Tamil? They were Shri Murasoli Maran, M.P., M. Karunanidhi, N.T. Rama Rao, K. Anbazhagan and A.B. Vajpayee MP, Shri V. Gopalasamy MP, N.V.N. Somu, MP and L. Ganesan.
SHRI R. MUTHIAH :In which year? (Interruptions).
MR. SPEAKER: What is this? You should not disturb him.
SHRI R. MUTHIAH : Sir, he has not quoted. (Interruptions).
SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA :This ATR is a political document. (Interruptions).
MR. SPEAKER: Shri Acharia, please conclude. You have already taken more than 30 minutes. There is one more speaker from your party.
SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA:Sir, the House will sit up to 10 o' clock. Please do not restrict me because I have many more points to make. (Interruptions). They are interrupting me every time. Actually, they have taken my time.
should give more time to all the hon. Members. (Interruptions).
MR. SPEAKER: Shri Acharia, please conclude.
SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA: This ATR is a political document. It has just mentioned only one sentence, to utilise against Shri Karunanidhi, to keep him under pressure and to placate one of their allies. It is a national question. After the assassination of Shri Rajiv Gandhi, in West Bengal, we observed bandh. We had many differences with late Shri Rajiv Gandhi. However, we condemn this dastardly killing of one of the tallest leaders of our country.
The Interim Report has mentioned about the foreign hand. I do not agree with the last sentence of an eminent Barrister and Minister, Shri Ram Jethmalani that everything has been stated here. What has been stated about the foreign hand? What has been stated in the Interim Report? In Volume III, page 170, it has been stated:
"In such like international conspiracies, the task is to find as to where and when and by whom the conspiracy was hatched and how the conspiracy was to be executed is very difficult, almost impossible to unravel as neither the conspirators nor their aides would come forward.
The conspiracy behind the assassination could have unraveled if Sivarasan, Subha and Shanmugham, Intelligence Chief Pottu Amman and LTTE Supremo V. Prabhakaran had been apprehended..."
This is mentioned in the Action Taken Report. But there is another paragraph just before that, mentioning about certain international agencies that the Government has completely ignored. The Government now says that it is very difficult to find out the conspiracy because they are not available, they are not coming forward to give evidence about the conspiracy. But Justice Jain himself says on page 169 of Volume III:
"Further, the question requires examination in the background of the likelihood of CIA-MOSSAD links with the LTTE, the track record of CIA, Shri Rajiv Gandhi's views on re-fuelling and on regional security system, his utterances against the policy and programmes pursued by the U.S., contrary to India's national interests, and the strong probability of Shri Rajiv Gandhi coming to power and the emergence of India as the Third World leader and leader of NAM movement. I, therefore, find the information furnished by Shri Yasser Arafat as genuine and on that basis, coupled with the facts and circumstances dealt with above, there is no reason to disbelieve the information given by Shri Yasser Arafat. However, in view of the information, it is up to the Government to adopt such measures or take such action as it may think proper, if it is to be pursued further."