Bengaluru

Man who provided refuge to Rajiv Gandhi’s assassins in Bengaluru dead

J. Ranganath (left), who was accused number 26 in the  Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, with his long-time associate and film-maker A.M.R. Ramesh (right).

J. Ranganath (left), who was accused number 26 in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, with his long-time associate and film-maker A.M.R. Ramesh (right).

J. Ranganath, who provided refuge to Rajiv Gandhi’s assassins Sivarasan, Subha and five others in a house at Konanakunte here, died on Thursday. The nearly 60-year-old resident of Nagasandra in Bengaluru was suffering from kidney problems for a long time.

Ranganath was accused number 26 in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. He was arrested in 1991 and was among the 19 of the 26 accused who were released in 1999.

Wife’s role

According to K. Ragothaman, ex-CBI officer who was involved in cracking the assassination case, Ranganath was accused of harbouring the suspects and helping them escape. “But for his wife Mrudula, we wouldn’t have traced Ranganath,” he said, recalling how she had revealed that her husband had offered refuge to the assassins, and led the police to the LTTE cadre.

He said Ranganath had helped the LTTE cadre stay in villages of Mandya district and had also made plans for them to flee to Kerala and from there to Sri Lanka as security was tight in Tamil Nadu. “He made Sivarasan, Subha and five others to stay in Puttenahalli and then shifted them to Konanakunte,” recalled Mr. Ragothaman.

S.M. Susindran, an LTTE sympathiser, who had met Ranganath in Chengalpet prison in 1992, said “He (Ranganath) became involved with the LTTE in the 1980s when he was in Switzerland for a few years. He used to help raise funds for the outfit,” Mr. Susindran said.

“It was his helping tendency that landed him in trouble,” Mr. Susindran said.

A.M.R. Ramesh, who directed Tamil film Kuppi ( Cyanide in Kannada) which revolved around the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, said he and Ranganath were involved in talks with slain forest brigand Veerappan’s associates to aid the release of Kannada thespian Rajkumar.

“I had known Ranganath for the past 35 years. He took me to Tamil Nadu politicians Kolathur Mani and P. Nedumaran and introduced me to Tamil Nadu Liberation Army and Tamil National Retrieval Troops to help in getting Rajkumar released,” said Mr. Ramesh.


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Feb 20, 2022 6:56:45 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/Man-who-provided-refuge-to-Rajiv-Gandhi%E2%80%99s-assassins-in-Bengaluru-dead/article17030623.ece