Did the CIA know Rajiv Gandhi was to be ASSASSINATED?

Five years before Rajiv Gandhi was killed in 1991, the US Central Intelligence Agency prepared a very detailed report on what would happen if he was either assassinated, or forced to make an abrupt departure from the Indian political scene.

A 23-page report, titled India After Rajiv … was put out as early as in March, 1986 for comments from other senior CIA officials. The sanitised report was declassified recently by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The report, whose complete title is not entirely available as it is part deleted, was prepared on the basis of inputs available to the CIA till January 1986.

The very first sentence of the report’s available (undeleted) page reads: Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi faces at least an even chance of assassination before his tenure in office ends in 1989.

It later clearly states that assassination is in fact the major near-term threat to his life. As such, five years later, Gandhi was assassinated at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu on May 21, 1991.

The first section titled Key Judgments analyses the likely scenario that would emerge in the domestic and international political situation if there was a sudden change in leadership – and the likely impact on India’s relations with the US, the then USSR and the region folowing Gandhi’s death.

It also dealt with the threats posed to Gandhi’s life by various extremist groups at that time, and the likely fallout of his murder.

‘If Gandhi fell to a Sikh or Kashmiri Muslim assassin, widespread communal violence probably would erupt even if strong preventive security measures – including deployment of Army and paramilitary troops across northern India – were taken by the Indian President ……(deleted), it said
The first section titled Key Judgments analyses the likely scenario that would emerge in the domestic and international political situation if there was a sudden change in leadership – and the likely impact on India’s relations with the US, the then USSR and the region folowing Gandhi’s death.

It also dealt with the threats posed to Gandhi’s life by various extremist groups at that time, and the likely fallout of his murder.

‘If Gandhi fell to a Sikh or Kashmiri Muslim assassin, widespread communal violence probably would erupt even if strong preventive security measures – including deployment of Army and paramilitary troops across northern India – were taken by the Indian President ……(deleted), it said

In a section, titled ‘The Threat of Assassination: Stability in Jeopardy’, the report says, ‘In our view, there is at least an even chance in the next several years of an assassination, most likely by extremist Sikhs or disgruntled Kashmiri Muslims who have targeted Rajiv, besides a fanatical Hindu.’

Since, a significant portion of this section is deleted, it is not clear whether Sri Lankan Tamil extremists were also mentioned in the analysis.

However, another section deals in-depth with Rajiv’s mediation efforts to resolve the conflict between militant Sri Lankan Tamils and the Sinhalese-dominated government in Colombo.

Besides Gandhi’s possible assassination, the report also analysed various scenarios of his abrupt departure from the political scene before 1989.

‘Although we believe assassination is the major near-term threat to Rajiv’s tenure, any of several other events could cause his abrupt departure from the political scene before 1989’, it said while listing out several other possibilities including his death from natural causes or by accident.

In a section called Implications for the United States, the report says ‘We believe (Rajiv) Gandhi’s death would represent a significant blow to US interests, regardless of the circumstances of the succession. …We believe Indo-US relations could also suffer as a result of domestic political changes following Rajiv’s assassination’.

Several portions of the 23-page report were deleted before the CIA decided to release it under the Freedom of Information Act. (DailyMail)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*


*

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

173,240 Spam Comments Blocked so far by Spam Free Wordpress

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>