TN Congress to oppose release of Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convicts

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi views a portrait of his father and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi at an exhibition. Photo - Congress/Twitter

Politics continues over the convicts in former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination case. The latest came from Tamil Nadu unit of the Congress, which on Sunday said it would strongly oppose any move to release any of the seven convicts in the case in response to PMK’s request to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene in the release of the convicts.

“There are so many prisoners including convicts in prisons of Tamil Nadu. Why is there a motivated demand for releasing Rajiv’s killers only?” Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K S Alagiri told PTI over phone.

He said any decision to release the convicts would set a “bad precedent” and “highly disturb the social order and peace in Tamil Nadu”.

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Alagiri was reacting to a recent meeting that NDA-ally PMK’s founder-president S Ramadoss and his son and Rajya Sabha member R Anbumani had with Prime Minister Narendra Modi here for his intervention for the release of Rajiv Gandhi’s killers.

Questioning the “intervention in the justice system”, Alagiri said the law of the land should be allowed take its own course. It is for the court to decide the matter, he added.

Rajiiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991 during an election meeting at Sriperumbudur near Chennai by a suicide bomber of the banned LTTE.

In a memorandum to Prime Minister Modi, Ramadoss had argued that the Supreme Court last year had allowed the Tamil Nadu government to decide on the release of seven convicts — Murugan, Santhan, Perarivalan, Robert Payas, Ravichandran, Jayakumar and Nalini.

The Tamil Nadu government later on September 9, 2018 had passed a Cabinet resolution recommending to Governor Banwarilal Purohit for the release of convicts, but his office has been delaying the matter, he said.

“Tamils all over the world expected that the governor would take a decision shortly. But even after one year and one month after receiving the letter, the office of Tamil Nadu governor has not taken any decision and is procrastinating this matter. This has disappointed and distressed millions of Tamils all over the world,” Ramadoss said.

“It is rather unfair,” he said, adding the seven convicts were in prison for the last 28 years and keeping them in jail any further without any strong reason would be a serious violation of the human rights. Rajiv Gandhi’s widow Sonia and son Rahul have ‘categorically said they have no objections to the release of seven Tamils’,” the PMK had said.

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