Rajiv Gandhi’s 29th death anniversary today, was assassinated in suicide bomb attack
Rajiv Gandhi became the youngest prime minister of India at 40
May 21, 2020, marks the 29th death anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi who was assassinated in Chennai. He was assassinated on May 21, 1991, by Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cadres in a suicide bombing attack at a rally at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu. It was carried out by Thenmozhi Rajaratnam aka Dhanu, a member of the LTTE.
It is speculated that the conspiracy to assassinate Rajiv Gandhi was aimed at thwarting India’s involvement in Sri Lankan civil war. Notably, Rajiv Gandhi had sent its Army to the Sri Lankan government’s aid in the civil war.
Further, Rajiv Gandhi and the then Sri Lankan president JR Jayawardene had signed the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord in July 1987 which “envisaged a devolution of power to the Tamil-majority areas” which triggered the hostile response. Under this accord, LTTE was to be dissolved, and Tamil made one of the official languages of the country.
The trial in his murder case was conducted under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA), and the court gave the death sentence to 26 accused in the assassination.
Rajiv Gandhi became the youngest prime minister of India at 40 when he assumed office after his mother and former PM Indira Gandhi was assassinated in 1984.
He also received the Bharat Ratna in 1988.