TN govt committed to release of Rajiv case convicts: CM Palaniswamy

Rajiv Gandhi - The Federal
Rajiv Gandhi. File Photo/PTI

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami has said his government is committed to the release of the seven Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convicts. The CM told mediapersons here on Monday that he hoped the Governor would act on the cabinet recommendation for setting them free.

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Palaniwami’s statement comes amidst renewed calls, both from the opposition and Tamil groups, for the release of the seven, serving life terms, after the Supreme Court recently disposed of a plea of the kin of those killed along with the former Prime Minister in 1991 opposing their release.

The kin had challenged the Tamil Nadu government’s earlier decision in 2014 to release the seven convicts. In September 2018, the state cabinet had adopted a resolution recommending the release to Governor Banwarilal Purohit. Speaking to reporters here, Palaniswami said the cabinet resolution was passed in line with public sentiment. “We wanted the seven to be released and that is why we adopted a cabinet resolution and sent it to the Governor. The Governor has to decide,” he said.

“We took the decision based on public sentiment, adopted a cabinet resolution and sent it to the Governor. We hope he will take action,” he added. On September 9, 2018, the AIADMK government recommended Purohit the release of all seven convicts, namely, Murugan, Santhan, Perarivalan, Jayakumar, Ravichandran, Robert Payas, and Nalini.

Former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a LTTE suicide bomber during an election rally at Sriperumpudur, near Chennai, on May 21, 1991.