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Gandhi wanted extension for panel probing Rajiv murder


New Delhi : Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s desire to get to the truth has led to yet another extension for a panel probing the possible “larger conspiracy” behind former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s killing, official sources said Thursday.

The Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA), which was set up in 1998, won another one-year life last week.

According to sources in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), this happened because of the “keen interest” shown by Sonia Gandhi to get to the bottom of the May 1991 assassination.

A CBI source, however, admitted to IANS that the probe panel has failed to make any major breakthrough in the last 11 years in exposing any “larger conspiracy” behind the killing of Rajiv Gandhi at an election rally near Chennai.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was blamed for the grotesque killing. One of its suicide bombers blew up Gandhi as he prepared to speak at a rally. The LTTE, decimated in May, denied killing Gandhi.

The sources said Sonia Gandhi was keen to expose the conspirators behind the murder of her husband even after LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran and his intelligence chief Pottu Amman were killed by the Sri Lankan Army.

Prabhakaran and Pottu Amman, the Gandhi killing masterminds, were wanted in India for the assassination.

The MDMA’s extension comes after a three-month delay after its term expired May 31.

The MDMA, now running on a skeleton staff, was set up on the recommendation of retired judge Milap Chand Jain, whose own inquiry into the conspiracy theory was called off in 1998.

Jain wanted the MDMA to look into several areas he could not investigate.