Capture Prabhakaran alive, India urges Sri Lanka


New Delhi : India has reiterated that Sri Lanka capture Tamil Tigers chief Velupillai Prabhakaran alive and extradite him to India, sources in the external affairs ministry said Tuesday.

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“India will continue to request that Prabhakaran be caught alive,” a ministry source said.

At the same time, New Delhi is aware that Colombo will hand him over only after trying him in Sri Lanka for the crimes he has committed in that country, the source pointed out.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said Monday Colombo would extradite Prabhakaran, if caught alive, to India – but after first putting him through trial in his country.

In an interview to CNN IBN channel, Rajapaksa said it was “almost over” for the LTTE chief and he could be caught very soon.

Asked whether Prabhakaran would be extradited to India, Rajapaksa said: “First he will have to go through our trial… And then might send him to India.”

“Why should I keep him… India has the right… a man who is responsible for killing Rajiv Gandhi (former Indian prime minister in 1991), one of the greatest leaders,” he said.

A Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) suicide bomber had blown up Gandhi during a poll rally in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu in May 1991.

The sources also said that as the Sri Lanka military ceased its combat operations against the LTTE, its conventional capabilities had been hit but its command and control systems remained intact.

Thus, there was a possibility of suicide bombings in Sri Lanka in the wake of the operations against the Tigers.

The sources send two de-mining teams would be sent to clear the areas that have been recaptured from the rebels.

This apart, India will step up its humanitarian assistance to Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka who have been displaced by the military offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels, the sources said.

“India is still very concerned about the civilian population in the no-combat zone. We will step up our humanitarian assistance to the Tamil civilians by sending shipments of food, medicine and other essential supplies,” the source said.