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Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Rajiv Gandhi assassination case: Only courts can decide on release of convicts, says Tamil Nadu Congress chief

In a statement, Alagiri said that if the convicts were released, similar demands would prop up to release the remaining convicts who have spent more than 25 years in jail.

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai | Updated: November 7, 2020 2:42:39 pm
Rajiv Gandhi assassination, Rajiv Gandhi assassination convicts, Rajiv Gandhi assassination convicts release, Rajiv Gandhi assassination congress on convicts releaseRajiv Gandhi was assassinated on the night of May 21, 1991, at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu. (File)

Tamil Nadu Congress Committee leader KS Alagiri on Saturday said only the court can decide on the release of the seven life convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and urged political parties from demanding the same.

In a statement, Alagiri said that if the convicts were released, similar demands would prop up to release the other convicts who have spent more than 25 years in jail.

“If the court decides to release all the seven life convicts, we will accept it. However, it is not acceptable for the political parties to seek their release. Those who committed the murder should be seen as murderers and not as Tamilians,” the statement read.

“If we start a movement to release the murderers, then it will mean that there is no need for police stations and court or to speak about the law and order.  Hence, it was not Tamil culture to support the murderers who killed the former prime minister,” the statement added.

The Congress leader’s remarks came a few days after their ally, the DMK, urged Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit to accept the recommendation of the state Cabinet and remit the life sentence of all the convicts, namely – Nalini, TVL Sriharan alias Murugan, Santhan, A G Perarivalan, Jayakumar, Robert Payas and P Ravichandran.

In a letter to the Governor, DMK president MK Stalin had said that the convicts are undergoing the agony of imprisonment for more than three decades.

Stalin referred to Article 161 of the Constitution of India where the Governor has the power to suspend, remit or commute any sentence of a person convicted of an offence under any law. “This important recommendation has been kept pending without taking decision by your excellency for over two years which has been causing grave and irreparable hardship to the said convicts,” he wrote in the letter.

Besides the DMK chief, several other political parties, activists and other organisations have demanded an early release of the seven life convicts in the past.

Recently, Purohit had called on President Ram Nath Kovind in this regard. He had earlier called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice-president Venkaiah Naidu and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

According to a statement issued by the Raj Bhavan on Thursday, the Governor discussed important issues related to the state.

This came days after the Supreme Court expressed its unhappiness over the pending file seeking remission for the  convicts.

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