'Why BJP leaders are silent over execution of Rajiv Gandhi's killers'

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Apr 25 2014, 23:17pm hrs
Congress today questioned why Narendra Modi and BJP were silent on the issue of execution of Rajiv Gandhi's killers when they had been vocal in demanding Afzal Guru's hanging and claimed that their aim was to garner votes and not fight terrorism.

"We are concerned. We have not heard about any leader of the BJP talking about the assassins of Rajiv Gandhi to be executed. They were talking about execution of Parliament attack accused Afzal Guru day in and day out in Parliament and outside," senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said.

He said that they (BJP leaders) have been silent over the execution of the killers of Rajiv Gandhi for 20 years.

"Their fight is not against terrorism but for garnering votes. Why did Modi not say even once in last 15 years that the assassins of Rajiv Gandhi should be hanged," Sibal said.

The remarks of senior party leader came on a day when Supreme Court today referred the matter on remission of life imprisonment of seven convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case to a Constitution Bench saying its interim order staying Tamil Nadu government's decision to free them will continue.

The court had on February 20 stayed the decision to release of three convicts -- Murugan, Santhan and Arivu -- whose death sentence was commuted to life term by it on February 18 in the case, saying there had been procedural lapses on the part of the state government on the decision to release them.

The apex court later on had also stayed release of convicts Nalini, Robert Pious, Jayakumar and Ravichandran in the case.

The Jayalalithaa government had on February 19 decided to set free all the seven convicts, who have been in jail since 1991, in the assassination case.

Santhan, Murugan and Arivu are currently lodged in the Central Prison at Vellore.

The other four were also undergoing life sentence for their role in Gandhi's assassination on May 21, 1991 at Sriperumbudur.