Rajiv Gandhi Assassination and Special Investigation Team- Part VII

| by L.Annadoure

( April 16, 2013, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) Previously we quoted the Chief of Special Investigation Team who having ventured to state in the book co- authored by himself along with Vinod Raj as regards Sivarasan having given a Kodak colour roll film to Haribabu to take snap shots so as to record the sequence of events at Sriperumbadur.

Previous Parts:
None of the officers had ever given any information pertaining the film product class number and film specified, frame number, filmstrip type, filmstrip identification number, filmstrip length, and information of the manufacturer of the film and while this being thus we are constrained to focus our attention on this aspect because the unexposed film along with the Chinon Cx Camera had been with the Special Investigation Team as soon it had assumed charge of investigating the case and the exposed frames alone were cut and removed.

With the Kodak Colour Roll cartridge containing the unexposed frames which was being with the State Police until it was handed over to CBI at about 1.30pm on 24th May 1991, the cut and removed film which was in the hands of Police photographer could not have been developed without knowing the identity of some aspects of film and the chemical process that should be used in developing and fixing the film and therefore it was false to state that the police photographer had given the cut and removed film to take out prints immediately.

According to the Chief of Investigation Team Mr.D.R.Karthikeyan the cut and removed film was delivered to the photographer who was attached to the Tamil Nadu Forensic Department late in the evening. The professional photographers may vouch for the proposition of fact that the cut and removed frames could not be developed without knowing the identity and chemical processes involved in developing the said film and further the allegation that the exposed 10 frames were developed within a short while could not be accepted with any stretch of imagination, for how the cut and removed 10 frames alone could be fed into the machine for developing and therefore there was not even an iota of truth in any of the things they said about the film. There shall not be any doubt as to the proposition of fact that whole film with cartridge was needed for processing and photofinishing and therefore the statement that the prints were taken from the developed film and sent to The Hindu Newspaper was a concocted story and thus it becomes crystal clear that there was something suspicious about the film.

We have no occasion of seeing the negatives of the 10 frames or the photographs directly but the Forensic Expert Mr.P.Chandrasekaran who in his book ‘The First Human Bomb’ has given the pictures of the alleged 10 frames at page 114 and 115 of the aforesaid book and the same are being reproduced below a little magnified so as to facilitate easy perusal and here they are:

Figure 62.HARIBABU’S EXPOSURE-Frames 0 to 5

Figure63.HARIBABU’S EXPOSURES-Frames 6 to 9

Let us see what the Forensic Expert had stated about them in page 114 and 115.

“ I scrutinized the ten frames exposed by Haribabu. All the ten exposures bore the actual number of individual frames exposed during the run of the film. The frames were sequentially numbered from 0 to 9.They are displayed in the same sequence in figures 62 and 63.The frame numbered ‘0’[62] shows the bespectacled woman[identified by me as assassin]. She is positioned between two other women identified later as Kokila Kannan and Latha Kannan.

In frame numbered ‘1”[figure62] is seen a section of the women audience. 

The Frame numbered ‘2’[Figure62] shows J.Paramandam of J.P.Builders in conversation with music director Ganesh of the Shankar –Ganesh Duo. Frame ‘3’[Figure62] shows the arrival of Rajiv Gandhi at the venue. Alighting from the car near the barricade he responds to the enthusiastic crowd. Frames numbered ‘4’ and’5’ in Figures62 and frames numbered ‘6’ and ‘7’ in figure 63 show Rajiv Gandhi reaching out to admirers, shaking hands and receiving shawls. Frame numbered ‘8’in Figure 63 shows Rajiv Gandhi placing his hand over the shoulder of Kokila Kannan, who recited a Hindi poem she wrote in praise of him. Behind her waits the assassin for her chance! The assassin is easily identified in this frame from the orange coloured Kanakambaram flowers adorning her hair.

The frame numbered ‘9’ in figure 63 depicts the explosion that killed Rajiv Gandhi, as well as the photographer himself and sixteen others at 10.20 p.m on May 21, 1991.This is the only instance of a photograph of a bomb blast ever being taken from such close quarters, a distance of less than three feet!”

Kodak GA 100 5095, colour Negative Film

Mr.P.Chandrasekaran the Forensic Expert is an all rounder, for he self acclaims possession of expertise knowledge in all subjects and he has stated in the book that the film that was used was Kodak GA 100 5095 and the information which we sought from Kodak web site reveal that particular films was being manufactured in 1993. I solicit the attention of photographers and experts in the field to enlighten the public more on this aspect. The Kodak GA 100 5095 film was said to have been used on that fateful night. Now reverting to the nature of Kodak GA 100 5095 the name Kodak was the name of the manufacturer, GA was Film’s code name , 5095 meant Film code number and 100 denoted the film speed.

Kodak 100 was a low speed film and it was being used in general picture-taking situation in day light or with flash system and further the chemical process used in developing the film was C -41 and once again the attention of the reader is solicited to the statement made by Chief of Special Investigation Team who had stated in his book that the exposed frames were cut and packed in a local studio and sent for printing and also of the statement of the chief Investigating officer who was saying that the camera and unexposed film were delivered to the Team only on 24.5.1991. Suppose the version of Chief Investigation officer were to be true then the cut and removed film strip containing 10 frames- shots could not have been developed on the evening of 23rd May 1991 at the Tamil Nadu Forensic Unit, for the reason that film cartridge alone would contain the particulars in respect of name of the manufacturer of the film, film type and the developing process.

Every film would have latent image printed on the edge of the film as regards the name of manufacturer of the film, speed of the film and other particulars and such information would be known and seen only after developing the exposed film and until then it would be impossible to know the name of the manufacturer and the type of chemical that should used in processing the cut and packed film strip. This author is quite certain about the aforesaid factual aspects and he is hopeful that any professional photographer and experts in photo technology who happened to go through this article might endorse as to the correctness or otherwise of what have been stated above.

A professional photographer might choose a film of 400 ASI or 400 DNI speed for taking snapshots during night time and that a film with 100 ASI speed was handed over for taking shots could not be believed and accepted by any one at any stretch of imagination and in this context I would like bring the disclosure made by the death Convict Perarivalan in his appeal to the public as well another convict Murugan who wrote a series of letters about the nature of investigation done in this case and both of them have had referred some aspects about the film. 

The Eastman Kodak film manufacturer had introduced a system called Digital Index encoding in the year 1983 which was printing of latent image DX film edge barcode below the sprocket holes or perforations.
In 1991, photographic film manufacturers and camera manufacturers like Eastman Kodak, Canon, Fuji, Minolta and Nikon have had entered into a cooperative venture to create a technology for a new photo system and as a result of which an Advanced Photo System was formulated in 1995 which envisaged optical and magnetic encoding on the film so as to enable the photofinishers with data that can be used in automatic printing, to improve print quality, identify print formats and print information such as date, time and titles on the back of the photograph. A camera with a facility to record date and time makes use of the magnetic coating to record information, which in turn, could be read and used at a later time. 

We may be very familiar with a processed film which contain an ordered succession of image frames between opposing longitudinal edges. The readers might have noticed the sprocket holes or perforations on the upper and lower edge of the film and in the process of taking photos the perforations on film snugly fit into the sprocket wheel and when wound the film is forwarded by the sprocket wheel. 

There are two parallel linear barcodes one for a synchronizing clock, and the other encoding film data such as type, manufacturer and frame number. The Camera that was said to have been used was Chinnon Camera which was in the market specifically in the year 1974 and the company stopped manufacturing that model in 1975 and in fact it was not an advanced photo system Camera.tell the lab to.

The pictures of the impugned 10 frames which we have seen at the beginning of this article are the being reproduced above and they are placed closer so as to facilitate scrutiny. The readers may be pleased to bear in mind that the frame numbering, mentioning the name of the manufacturer and serial number on the upper fringes in Kodak films manufactured by Kodak Company during the 1990s were similar. 

The readers are requested to note the dark background in all the 10 frames found above, notice the absence of binary code in Frame 0 and the absence of manufacturer’s name type of film in Frame 5, Frame 6 and Frame 9. Please see also randomly printed and truncated name of the manufacturer, film code, film name in other frames. 

There would be short film leader for a film strip which is meant to be inserted into the film roller and wound. Following the film leader is a strip of film containing at least 36 frames. Each frame is numbered on the upper edge and on the lower edge for instance, Numeral 1 would be found on the upper edge of the frame and Numeral 1 and English alphabet 1A on the lower edge. On and over the perforation joints or sprocket holes are being coated with magnetic particles and just beneath the coating contain binary bar codes which would be read by the Photofinishing machine.

Let us see what a Kodak Film 100 is about? The frames in the film would generally be numbered as follows:
The first frame would start with X and XA and in between X and XA there have to be necessarily eight perforations at the lower edge of the film and eight perforations at the upper edge and just on the upper fringes are optically printed the name of the film, speed of the film and film code for instance Kodak 100-8.
The next frame would show at the lower edge 00 and 00A and upper edge 0 and name of film 100-8 Kodak.
The next frame would indicate at lower edge 0, 0A and at the upper edge 0 and a small strip of thick magnetic coating over two perforations.
In the next succeeding frame would contain at lower edge 1 and 1A , upper edge 1 and then mentioning of serial number of the film.
The next frame, at the lower edge numeral 2, and numeral and alphabet 2A and at the upper edge frame number numeral 2 and film specification Kodak 100-8.
The next frame at the lower edge would contain the numeral and alphabet 3,3A and at the upper edge numeral 3 and then name of film Kodak Film.
The next frame would be found mentioned at the lower edge the numeral and alphabet 4, 4A and at the upper edge numeral 4 and Kodak 100-8.
The next frame would mention at the lower edge the numeral and alphabet 5 and 5A and at the upper edge mentioning the numeral 5 and 100-8 Kodak.
The next frame would contain at the lower edge the numeral 6 and numberal and alphabet 6A and at the upper edge numeral 6 and the name of film Kodak 100-8.
The next frame would contain at the lower edge the numeral 7 and numeral and alphabet 7A and at the upper edge mentioning of numeral 7 and 100-8 Kodak.
The next frame would reveal at lower edge the numeral 8 and the numeral and alphabet 8A and at the upper edge mentioning of numeral 8 and Kodak 100-8

In the next frame at the lower edge would be mentioned the numeral 9 and numeral and alphabet 9A and at the upper edge the numeral 9 and 100-8 Kodak and in the next frame at the lower edge would be mentioned the numeral 10 and numeral and alphabet 10A and at the upper edge the numeral 10 and Kodak 100-8 and this is how the frame in a film strip is being numbered. All the even numbered frames would be found mentioned on the upper edge as Kodak 100-8 and all the odd numbered frames would be found mentioned on the upper edge as 100-8 Kodak the reversed position of Name of film speed of film and the chemical process code into Chemical process code, film speed and then the name of Film.

The aforesaid method in mentioning the Frame number at the upper edge and again numeral and alphabet at the lower edge, film speed and etc is quite common among the film manufactures. For Instance , in the Konica Minolta VX100-S the pattern is being followed. Similar is the pattern in Konica VX 100 where instead of using X , XA , 00 00A and 0 they used mention K, KA, F, FA and then follow usual numerals from 1 to 36 as elaborated above.

Where were those two missing frames and what happened to them?

Therefore it becomes clear that the two frames namely the frame X and XA and the frame 00 and 00A were missing and the prosecutors and the Forensic Expert Mr.P.Chandrasekar must account for the two missing frames. But the Forensic Expert would speak authoritatively that “All the ten exposures bore the actual number of individual frames exposed during the run of the film” which is a misstatement and an indication of having fabricated evidence with which the prosecutors had intended to get conviction for the accused persons. The Forensic Expert had filed a false report in the proceedings which had made the trial court to rely upon such false report, believed the report true and as a consequence of which the trial court had been made to convict the accused persons.

While setting the film on the camera a professional photographer would be prudent enough not to waste the film by winding more film on the roller but some times it might happen that an amateur photographer would wind more film than it was necessary to do. In each and every frame there were to be 8 perforations on the lower edge and 8 perforation on the upper edge and the next frame containing 8 perforations in the lower edge and 8 perforations on the upper edge.

How to count and start with the said 8 perforations or sprocket holes in each and every frame ? Take for instance a frame numbered 1at the top and 1 and 1A on the lower edge on the film strip. The perforation or sprocket hole at number1and I A was first hole and then follow 7 other holes in succession and contiguous to one another. Therefore there should be 8 perforations in all. Similarly the perforation or hole at frame No.2 is the first hole and 7 other holes follow suit one after another and thus the same pattern is applicable for other frames in the film strip. Only upon each frame containing 8 perforations on the upper edge and 8 perforations on the lower edge settling compactly on the sprocket wheel and the frame being positioned thus the mechanism would be operative, shutter would click and the film would be exposed. Now we have to see whether those 10 frames originated from a single film strip namely Kodak 100 GA 5095. we may tend to be sceptical about the proposition of the fact that Kodak 100 GA 5095 was really used. We have already ventured to state that the information as found at the Kodak web site shows that this particular film was begun to be manufactured in the year 1993 but we are concerned about the period mid May 1991.The photographers and experts in this field may be pleased to enlighten as to when Kodak GA 5095 was made available in the market and thus dispel the doubt and suspicion hovering over it. Nevertheless we would continue to analyze and to ascertain whether those 10 frames which are said to depict the events leading up to the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi were contiguous with one another and the frames had originated from a single Kodak 100 roll film or whether the frames were fabricated to suit the case of prosecution. The author’s humble submission is that those 10 frames were fabricated with a corrupt intention of procuring conviction for the accused person in the case. The author solicits the patience and indulgence of Honourable readers and requests them to enlarge especially the last frame and find out for themselves the presence of at least 4 lines of Devanagri script and if the readers are not sure about the statement then they are requested to try to view it closely and meticulously and then the readers would certainly see the truth in the end and thus they may adjudge for themselves and arrive at conclusion as regards the falsity of case of prosecutors who had submitted false evidence. Similarly see other frames also and find out whether the 10 frames comply with the requirements mentioned above and find out too whether they are in order. The author is very certain that the impugned10 frames were spurious, fake. Those 10 frames were not shot with the Chinon Camera and those 10 frames should have been fabricated either at the Defence Research and Development Organization’s Remote Sensing unit at Hyderabad or at the Office of Hindu News paper. We will analyse each and every frame of the impugned film. 

To be continued.

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