Prabhakaran did not have cyanide capsule when captured

Sri Lankan troops did not find any cyanide capsule on the LTTE leader's body after he was killed during the final phase of the 30-year-old civil war, while they recovered cyanide pills from many of the LTTE cadres and leaders killed in the military campaign.

"Prabhakaran did not have a cyanide capsule on him. We did not find any such thing. Many other LTTE cadres had capsules with them, but not Prabhakaran," top defence sources said.

Interestingly, the 54-year-old Tamil Tigers leader carried his identity card and other items with him which were later recovered by the army, they said.

Prabhakaran was reputed to have been wearing a cyanide capsule around his neck and encouraged his fighters to do the same, saying it was better to take their own life than be captured alive by Sri Lankan soldiers.

The sources said Prabhakaran was in his uniform when he was shot dead by the troops and his dress was later removed to see whether there were any birth marks.

It was also widely believed that Prabhakaran carried a cyanide pill with him when he visited the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1985 at his residence in New Delhi. Security officials had a tough time persuading him to leave the cyanide capsule before meeting Gandhi, but could not succeed.

The LTTE chief had vowed never to be captured alive by the Sri Lankan forces and had even told his bodyguards to douse him in petrol and burn him alive in the event of getting captured.

The sources clarified that he was killed by the troops and did not commit suicide as speculated by a section of media and the Tamil diaspora.

The defence sources also said the bodies of Prabhakaran's wife, younger son and daughter have not been recovered yet. However, they refused to elaborate further.

On Pottu Amman's body, they said they haven't recovered it yet but believe that he is dead.

The sources said around 200 LTTE leaders and 400 cadres were killed between May 17-19. They said the leaders included heads of various sections of the rebel outfit--- political, cultural and others.

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