Renewing his demand for abolishing death penalty,DMK chief M Karunanidhi today made a fresh pitch for a state cabinet meeting to adopt a resolution recommending commutation of the death sentence awarded to three convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
“Our stand is that capital punishment should be abolished and should be taken off the law book,” Karunanidhi said,recalling his remarks that the death sentence of Murugan,Santhan and Perarivalan should be commuted on humanitarian grounds.
“If the state government has to approach the problem truly,it should not just stop after adopting resolutions in the Assembly,but pass a resolution in a cabinet meeting and send it to the Governor,” the DMK patriarch said.
His statement comes a day after the Supreme Court dismissed death row convict and Khalistani terrorist Devinder pal Singh Bhullar’s plea for commutation of his death sentence in a judgement that can have a bearing on the fate of over 20 convicts facing execution,including those held guilty in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination.
On the apex court’s observation that commutation of death sentence to accused cannot be done in the case of terrorists or those involved in mass killings on the ground of delay in deciding their mercy plea,Karunanidhi said in a statement “it has come as a very big shock to many expecting the verdict as well as our thinking.”
Karunanidhi cited the example of Thyagu,whose death sentence,he said,was commuted during his government’s tenure. “When we see that Thyagu has now become a writer andm essayist,is publishing books and has become a respectable man in society,we should give a life to Murugan,Santhan and Perarivalan and should use them for society,” he said.