If the Rajiv case case convicts were to be set free, a demand would arise for the release of all "murder convicts" who have spent over 25 years in prison, he said. "If the court announces the release of seven Rajiv case convicts, we will accept it.
Opposing the release of seven Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convicts, Congress in Tamil Nadu said on Saturday that political parties making this demand was unacceptable. Against the backdrop of parties, including its key ally in Tamil Nadu the DMK pressing for release of the convicts, including A G Perarivalan, whose plea for pardon is pending with the Governor, TNCC chief K S Alagiri said only the judiciary should decide on remission of their sentences.
If the Rajiv case case convicts were to be set free, a demand would arise for the release of all “murder convicts” who have spent over 25 years in prison, he said. “If the court announces the release of seven Rajiv case convicts, we will accept it.
However, political parties rooting for their release is unacceptable,” Tamil Nadu Congress Committee chief Alagiri said in a statement. “It is not Tamil culture to lend support for convicts who assassinated a former Prime Minister and brought harm to India.” Propping up a movement for the release of murder convicts meant that there was no need for police stations, courts and also necessity to talk about law and order maintenance, he said. Those convicted for murder should be considered only as convicts and addressing such persons as “Tamils” is inappropriate, he said.
“Release seven Tamils” is a phrase usually used by several pro-Tamil, Dravidian groups and parties to strengthen their demand for remission to Rajiv case convicts and its use is perceived to have undertones to the decades old conflict in Sri Lanka. It is a thing of pride to address leaders like Abdul Kalam, Kamarajar, Perarignar Anna, Kalaignar Karunanidhi, Jeevanandam and math genius Ramanujam as Tamils, and not the convicts, the TNCC leader said. P Jeevanandam (1907-63), popularly known as ‘Thozhar’ (comrade) Jeeva was a pioneer of the Left movement in Tamil Nadu.
The over a decade old demand for the release of all seven Rajiv case convicts recently gained momentum with the DMK demanding Governor Banwarilal Purohit accept the 2018 Tamil Nadu government’s recommendation, remit their life sentences and set them free. Most parties in Tamil Nadu, including the ruling AIADMK support the release of the convicts.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court had expressed unhappiness over the pendency of Perarivalan’s plea (seeking pardon in the Rajiv case) for over two years with Governor Banwarilal Purohit. Nalini, V Sriharan alias Murugan, Santhan, A G Perarivalan, Jayakumar, Robert Payas and P Ravichandran are the seven convicts in prison for nearly three decades. Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991 at Sriperumbudur near here by a woman suicide bomber, Dhanu, at an election rally.