Justice must be done as per law: K. Ragothaman
Rajiv assassins. Breathtaking expose of a political assassination, a dastardly act which changed the course of India’s history — Ragothaman
Rajiv Gandhi assassination video suppressed, claims book
Manoj Mitta, TNN | Oct 30, 2012, 04.22AM IST
Revealed: Nehru wanted to scuttle Sardar’s Hyderabad plan
TUESDAY, 30 OCTOBER 2012 23:54 KUMAR CHELLAPPAN | CHENNAI
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the then Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of India, whose 137th birth anniversary is on October 31, was insulted, humiliated and disgraced by the then Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, during a Cabinet meeting. “You are a complete communalist and I’ll never be a party to your suggestions and proposals,” Nehru shouted at Patel during a crucial Cabinet meeting to discuss the liberation of Hyderabad by the Army from the tyranny of the Razakkars, the then Nizam’s private army.
“A shocked Sardar Patel collected his papers from the table and slowly walked out of the Cabinet room. That was the last time Patel attended a Cabinet meeting. He also stopped speaking to Nehru since then,” writes MKK Nair, a 1947 batch IAS officer, in his memoirs “With No Ill Feeling to Anybody”. Nair had close ties with both Sardar and VP Menon, his Man Friday.
Though Nair has not written the exact date of the above mentioned Cabinet meeting, it could have happened during the weeks prior to the liberation of Hyderabad by the Indian Army. Operation Polo, the mission to liberate Hyderabad from the Nizam, began on September 13, 1948 and culminated on September 18. While Sardar Patel wanted direct military action to liberate Hyderabad from the rape and mayhem perpetrated by the 2,00,000 Razakars, Nehru preferred the United Nations route.
Nair writes that Nehru’s personal hatred for Sardar Patel came out in the open on December 15, 1950, the day the Sardar breathed his last in Bombay (now Mumbai). “Immediately after he got the news about Sardar Patel’s death, Nehru sent two notes to the Ministry of States. The notes reached VP Menon, the then Secretary to the Ministry. In one of the notes, Nehru had asked Menon to send the official Cadillac car used by Sardar Patel to the former’s office. The second note was shocking. Nehru wanted government secretaries desirous of attending Sardar Patel’s last rites to do so at their own personal expenses.
“But Menon convened a meeting of all secretaries and asked them to furnish the names of those who want to attend the last rites of Patel. He did not mention anything about the note sent by Nehru. Menon paid the entire cost of the air tickets for those secretaries who expressed their wish to attend Sardar’s last journey. This further infuriated Nehru,” Nair has written about his memoirs in the corridors of power in New Delhi.
Nair’s friendship with Patel began during the former’s posting in Hyderabad as a civilian officer of the Army. “I was a bachelor and my guest house was a rendezvous of all those in the inner circle of the then Nizam of Hyderabad. Every night they arrived with bundles of currency notes. We gambled and played flash and the stakes were high. During the game I served them the finest Scotch. After a couple of drinks, the princes and the junior Nawabs would open their minds and reveal the secret action plans being drawn out in the Nizam’s palace. Once intoxicated, they would tell me about the plans to merge Hyderabad with Pakistan after independence. This was information that no one outside the Nawab’s close family members and the British secret service were privy to. But I ensured that this information reached directly to Sardar Patel and thus grew our relation,” writes Nair.
The relation between Nair and Sardar Patel was such that the former’s director general in the ministry told him once: “Sardar Patel keeps an open house for you.” Nair, who worked in various ministries during his three-decade long civil service career, writes that the formation of North East Frontier Service under the Ministry of External Affairs by Nehru and the removal of the affairs of the Jammu & Kashmir from the Ministry of Home Affairs are the major reasons behind the turmoil in both the regions.
“This was done by Nehru to curtail the wings of Sardar Patel,” Nair has written. Though Sardar Patel was known as a no-nonsense man devoid of any sense of humour, Nair has written about lighter moments featuring him. The one centres around VP Menon with whom Patel had a special relation. Menon had to face the ire of Nesamani Nadar, a Congress MP from Kanyakumari, during his visit to Thiruvananthapuram in connection with the reorganisation of States. Nadar barged into Menon’s suit in the State Gust House and shouted at him for not obeying his diktats. Menon, who was enjoying his quota of sun-downer, asked Nadar to get out of his room. A furious Nadar sent a six-page letter to Sardar Patel trading all kinds of charges against Menon. “He was fully drunk when I went to meet him in the evening and he abused me using the filthiest of languages,” complained Nadar in his letter.
Sardar Patel, who read the letter in full asked his secretary V Shankar, an ICS officer: “Shankar, does VP take drinks?” Shankar, who was embarrassed by the question, had to spill the beans. “Sir, Menon takes a couple of drinks in the evening,” he said. Sardar was curious to know what was Menon’s favorite drink. Shankar replied that Menon preferred only Scotch. “Shankar, you instruct all government secretaries to take Scotch in the evening,” Sardar told Shankar. Nair writes that this anecdote was a rave in the Delhi evenings for a number of years!
Balraj Krishna (92), who authored Sardar’s biography, told The Pioneer that Nehru was opposed to Babu Rajendra Prasad, the then President, travelling to Bombay to pay his last respects to Patel. “But Prasad insisted and made it to Bombay,” said Krishna. MV Kamath, senior journalist, said though Nehru too attended the funeral of Patel, it was C Rajagopalachari, who delivered the funeral oration.
Prof MGS Narayanan, former chairman of Indian Council of Historical Research, said there was no reason to disbelieve what Nair has written. “But his memoirs did not get the due recognition it deserved. It is a historical chronicle of pre-and post independent India,” he said.
See also the following links:
21 years after Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, a book written by a former CBI officer has sparked a controversy over the former Prime Minister’s death. K Ragothaman, who was the head of the CBI Special Investigating Team (SIT) of the assassination case, has dragged the then Chief of Intelligence Bureau MK Narayanan to the centre of the controversy. Narayanan, who is currently the governor of West Bengal, has been accused of suppressing a video which allegedly had captured “human bomb” Dhanu at the Sriperumbudur venue where Rajiv Gandhi was killed on May 21, 1991. Meanwhile, former SIT Chief D Karthikeyan has spoken to TIMES NOW and said that he does not recollect any such video that Ragothaman has spoken about.
Oct 30, 2012, 04.22AM IST TNN[ Manoj Mitta ]
NEW DELHI: The chief investigating officer of the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, K Ragothaman, has alleged that the then IB chief, M K Narayanan, had “suppressed a vital piece of evidence”: a video tape showing “human bomb” Dhanu at the Sriperumbudur venue prior to the former prime minister’s arrival.
In a book authored by him, Ragothaman said that although a “preliminary enquiry” had been conducted in connection with the missing video, Narayanan, who is now West Bengal governor, had been “allowed to go scot-free” by the chief of the special investigation team (SIT), D R Karthikeyan.
The just-published book, “Conspiracy to kill Rajiv Gandhi – From CBI files”, claims that the tape, which had been taken from the videographer by IB the day after Rajiv Gandhi had been blown by Dhanu on May 21, 1991, was never shared with SIT in the investigation of the assassination.
Ragothaman wrote, “The assassin gang as per our investigation was very much in the sterile zone for more than two and half hours waiting for its target.” The suppression of the video evidence helped the Tamil Nadu police get away with the claim that Dhanu had sneaked into the sterile zone after Rajiv Gandhi’s arrival at the venue around 10 pm.
The tape recovered by the Tamil Nadu police was found to have interpolations in the form of Doordarshan’s news bulletins about the assassination. Ragothaman therefore asserted that the tape taken by the IB officials was “the original one and that the video given to the local police was a substituted one”.
The alleged manipulation, according to Ragothaman, was meant to erase video evidence of the kind of people Dhanu had interacted with at the venue, thereby sparing embarrassment to the Congress party in the middle of the 1991 Lok Sabha election. He asked: would Narayanan have dared “to damage the goal of the Congress party, irrespective of his personal affiliation to Rajiv Gandhi’s family?”
Though he was formally in charge of the investigation and was therefore in the witness box for 67 days, Ragothaman wrote that he had not been taken into confidence by his superior Karthikeyan about the recovery of the tape by IB. He came to know about it later through the report of the Justice J S Verma Commission which had probed the security lapses leading to the assassination.
Besides recording “this unusual feature” of the SIT-produced tape containing news bulletins along with visuals of the venue, the commission’s report reproduced a letter written by Narayanan on May 22, 1991 to the then Prime Minister, Chandrashekhar, stating that the video of the meeting was being “scanned to try and IDENTIFY THE LADY”. The lady referred to in capital letters by Narayanan was of course the assassin.
In a sequel to the commission’s report, the Narasimha Rao government directed SIT to hold the preliminary enquiry, case no. 1 of 1995, against Narayanan along with the then cabinet secretary and home secretary, according to the book. The case was later “buried at the behest of the chief of SIT” despite the admission made by Narayanan in his May 22 letter.
While the public got to see only the two still pictures of Dhanu taken by an LTTE-hired photographer who had died in the blast, Ragothaman’s book raises questions about the whereabouts of the video in which Narayanan admitted to have seen the assassin. Why did the SIT chief not collect the video seen by the IB chief? Or, why did the IB chief not share the tape in which Dhanu was visible with him? Had there been such questions about anybody else, the book says “he would have been booked under Section 201 IPC for concealing the evidence and screening the offender”.
Kizhakku Mottaimaadi: K. Ragothaman on CBI, 2G investigation and more, 29th April 2011 (Part 1)
Kizhakku Mottaimaadi: K. Ragothaman on CBI, 2G investigation and more, 29th April 2011 (Part 2)
Sonia, Rahul convert trust into property
By Sandhya Jain on October 29, 2012
A private company managed by Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Moti Lal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey and Satyan G Pitroda, has quietly acquired the over Rs 600 crore estate and properties belonging to the Jawaharlal Nehru-founded The Associated Journals Ltd for the paltry sum of Rs 50 lakh. The acquisition, which was finalised as recently as April 26, 2012, covers an ‘extinguished’ loan of over Rs 90 crore from the All-India Congress Committee.
The Associated Journals Ltd is the owner and publisher of National Herald (English daily), Qaumi Awaz (Urdu daily) and National Herald International Weekly.
Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi is a Director in the said firm, Young Indian (Registration No 55-210686), which is a private company registered under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956. Its principal aim is to inculcate “in the mind of India’s youth, commitment to the ideal of a democratic and secular society for its entire populace without any distinction as to religion, caste or creed and to awaken India’s youth to participate in activities that promote the foregoing objective”.
As this has nothing to do with journalism, it is unclear why Young Indian is acquiring the huge assets of a newspaper company for its activities.
As per the Notes to Accounts for the period ended March 31, 2012, a public limited company started by Jawaharlal Nehru with 5,000-odd shareholders has effectively become a private firm managed by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, using funds from the AICC. The legality of a political party giving a loan to a private person to set up a private firm remains questionable.
In fact, many aspects of the deal are problematic. The Notes to Accounts (II.1) states that in pursuit of its objects, “the Company acquired loan owed of Rs 90,21,68,980 by The Associated Journals Ltd (‘the said Company’), presently engaged in achieving a recast of its activities so as to have its main object congruent to the main object of the company, for a consideration of Rs 50 lakh”.
It continues, “As a part of restructuring exercise of the said company, the said loan was converted into 9,02,16,898 ordinary shares of Rs 10 each fully paid. Since said acquisition is treated as application on the objects of the company (and accordingly, treated in the financial statements of the company), the same has not been reflected as an investment in shares. Besides, even if the shares were to be treated as an asset (‘investment’), having regard to the fact that the net worth of the said company is negative, recognising the entire cost as “diminution in value” would result in an equivalent charge to the Income & Expenditure Account.”
This statement has been signed for and on behalf of the Managing Committee by Pradeep S Shah, Partner, Chandrakant & Sevantilal Chartered Accountants, Suman Dubey, director, and Moti Lal Vora, director.
It is pertinent that the official address of Young Indian is 5A, Herald House, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, Delhi, 110002, which is also the official address of publications owned by The Associated Journals Ltd, the registered office of which is Nehru Bhawan, 1 Bisheshwar Nath Road, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
Prima facie there seems to have been no general body meeting of shareholders to discuss and approve this huge disbursal of public property to a private firm. The records show that Moti Lal Vora, chairman, The Associated Journals Ltd, informed the Board of Directors in their meeting held on February 26, 2011, that 9,02,16,898 equity shares of Rs 10 each be allotted to Young Indian in consideration of the extinguishment of the amount of Rs 90,21,68,980 due to Young Indian under loan facility availed by the Company from All India Congress Committee.
Resolution No. 3 continues that this loan facility and all the benefits thereunder was approved by the board in the board meeting held on 21.12.2010 and by the shareholders by a Special Resolution in the Extraordinary General Meeting of the members held on 21.01.2011.
Vora requested the board to approve the allotment of 9,02,16,898 equity shares of Rs 10 each to Young Indian.
This is simply unprecedented and by far surpasses the generous loans extended by DLF, a private sector corporate house, to facilitate the staggering acquisitions of Robert Vadra (now reputedly holed up in Dubai).
The AICC loaned and wrote off the amount of Rs 90 crore plus to Young Indian, but Young Indian paid only Rs 50 lakhs for the entire transaction and became owner of the immense properties and estates of The Associated Journals Ltd.
Then, the objectives of Young Indian have nothing to do with journalism, which is the sole reason why the then Government allotted prime land to the publishing house. It stands to reason that if the publications are defunct and cannot be made viable, then the trust managing the same must be dissolved and the land returned to the Government.
If Rahul Gandhi has no intention of starting a new newspaper or magazine, or re-launching the National Herald and allied publications – which his staff reputedly asserted when asked by journalists who learnt that something was afoot in the trust – why has he acquired The Associated Journals Ltd and all its assets?
It may be pertinent to note that in The Associated Journals Ltd’s List of Shareholders and Debenture Holders 2008, the name of Rahul Gandhi has been inserted by hand at Page 49, with no shares or debentures allotted, and no other particulars given. In the List for 2011, Young Indian figures as the last entry, with the address N-125 Panchsheel Park, New Delhi-17, and the shares allotted are 9,02,16,898. Moti Lal Vora has signed this document in his capacity as managing director.
The whole thing reeks of crony capitalism and seems prima facie illegal. A public trust cannot be made private in this surreptitious manner.
अहमदाबाद [शत्रुघ्न शर्मा]। जनता पार्टी अध्यक्ष सुब्रमण्यम स्वामी ने काग्रेस और गाधी परिवार पर एक बार फिर हमला बोला है। स्वामी ने राहुल गांधी के स्विट्जरलैंड के ज्यूरिख के पिक्टेट बैंक में खाता होने का सनसनीखेज खुलासा करने के साथ ही आरोप लगाया है कि गांधी खानदान ने विभिन्न देशों में दर्जनों फर्जी कंपनियों बनाई। अरबों का धन बटोरा फिर कंपनी बंद कर दी। कांग्रेस के धन से दिल्ली का हेराल्ड हाउस कौड़ियों के भाव खरीदा जिसकी बाजार कीमत 6 हजार करोड़ से अधिक है। सोनिया और राहुल आरोपों का जवाब देने की खुली चुनौती देते हुए स्वामी ने कहा, मां-बेटे अपने पदों से इस्तीफा दें। ऐसा न किया तो अदालत का दरवाजा खटखटाउंगा।
इस्टीट्यूट ऑफ चार्टर्ड एकाउंटेंट द्वारा भ्रष्टाचार विषय पर आयोजित संगोष्ठी को संबोधित करने अहमदाबाद आए सुब्रमण्यम स्वामी ने शनिवार को पत्रकार वार्ता में कहा, सोनिया,राहुल और प्रियंका के नाम पर 27 कंपनिया है। गांधी खानदान ने अरबों के घपले के बाद इन कंपनियों को बंद कर दिया। बेकऑप्स और एसोसिएट्स जर्नल का उदाहरण देते हुए कहा, बेकऑप्स का पता लोधी रोड़ स्थित प्रियंका-रॉबर्ट वाड्रा के सरकारी बंगले का दिया गया है जो कंपनी कानून का उल्लंघन है। यह सब भ्रष्टाचार सोनिया के प्रश्रय से हो रहा है। मुझे तो सोनिया की देशभक्ति पर भी शक है,उनकी कंपनियों में कई विदेशी व संदेहास्पद लोग भी सदस्य है जो हवाला व कालेधन की देखरेख करने वाले हो सकते है।
स्वामी ने कहा, गाधी परिवार ने काग्रेस के 90 करोड़ रुपए यंग इडियन नामक संस्था में लगाए और फिर इन्हीं रुपयों से दिल्ली का हेराल्ड हाउस खरीदा जहा से आजादी के पहले से हेराल्ड और कौमी आवाज नाम अखबार निकला करते थे। नेहरु जी द्वारा स्थापित इस एतिहासिक भवन का इस्तेमाल अब काग्रेस कार्यालय के रूप में होने लगा है।
स्वामी ने घोटालों के आरोपों में घिरे भाजपा अध्यक्ष नितिन गडकरी को पाक साफ बताते हुए कहा,घोटालों के आधार पर उन्हें अध्यक्ष पद से इस्तीफा नहीं देना चाहिए,वह कोई सरकार या मंत्री पद पर नहीं है जो जाच को प्रभावित कर सकते है। गुजरात के मुख्यमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी को बेदाग बताते हुए कहा, वह मोदी के साथ हैं और एक साल से उनका प्रचार कर रहे है। भाजपा को 182 में से 140 सीटें प्राप्त होंगी। पार्टी को विस की सभी सीटें जीत कर कांग्रेस को पाठ पढ़ाना चाहिए। गुजरात में जनता पार्टी के प्रत्याशी उतारने के बारे में पूछे जाने पर कहा,मोदी से 4 टिकट मांगे हैं,यदि टिकट नहीं मिले तो भी वह भाजपा के खिलाफ प्रत्याशी नहीं उतारेगे। राजग के पीएम इन वेटिंग के बारे में कहा, इस पद के लिए कई उम्मीदवार है। नीतीश और मोदी वर्षो पुराने साथी है। इसलिए किसी एक का पक्ष नहीं ले सकता।
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