Tamil Nadu’s Congress chief K S Alagiri opposed the call by political parties, including its ally DMK for the release of the seven prisoners in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
“It is up to the court to decide whether to release the killers of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi,” he said in a statement on Saturday. “If they are released, there will be a demand for the release of all Tamil murderers who have been in prison for more than 25 years.”
The demand to release all seven convicts – Nalini Sriharan, V Sriharan alias Murugan, A G Perarivalan, Santhan, Jayakumar, Robert Payas and P Ravichandran has been gaining momentum since the Supreme Court expressed unhappiness, earlier this week, over the recommendation for remission of sentence of Perarivalan pending with the Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit for more than two years.
“We will accept the release of the seven people if the court announces it,” Alagiri said. “But it is not appropriate for political parties to demand their release.”
The Tamil Nadu Congress Committee’s president’s stance comes in the backdrop of several parties including the AIADMK supporting the release of the convicts. DMK president MK Stalin wrote to the Governor to accept the recommendation without further delay.
In 2014, the Supreme Court commuted the death penalty of Perarivalan and two other convicts (Murugan and Sathan) to life sentences. In 2018, Tamil Nadu government had recommended the release of Perarivalan after remitting his life sentence. But the Governor is said to be awaiting a report of the Multi Disciplinary Monitoring Agency which is looking into a ‘larger conspiracy in the case’.
Governor Purohit met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah in Delhi on November 4 and on the following day he met vice-president Venkaiah Naidu to discuss “important issues of the state.”