The Tamil Nadu cabinet on Sunday decided on recommending the state Governor to release all the 7 convicts in former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. All the 7 convicts are serving life imprisonment currently, and the AIADMK government has recommended the premature release of all of them, namely, Murugan, Santhan, Perarivalan, Jayakumar, Ravichandran, Robert Payas and Nalini.
After Tamil Nadu cabinet’s recommendation to Governor Banwarilal Purohit, DMK President MK Stalin urged the Governor to accept the recommendations of the Tamil Nadu cabinet and “immediately order for the release of 7 Rajiv Gandhi assassination convicts who are in the jail for 27 years.”
The Tamil Nadu government had called for the cabinet meeting on Sunday morning to discuss the release of the convicts. Nalini Sriharan, one of the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi Assassination case, had written a letter to the Home Secretary of Tamil Nadu as per the Supreme Court order seeking her release. In the letter, she had mentioned that she had approached the High Court of Judicature at Madras seeking her release from prison under Article 161 of the Constitution.
During the meeting called under Chief Minister K Palaniswami's leadership, a resolution to recommend the state's governor to immediately release all those convicted in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
Earlier on Thursday, the Supreme Court had asked Governor Purohit to consider the mercy petition of the seven convicts in connection with Rajiv Gandhi Assassination case. A bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Naveen Sinha and Justice KM Joseph also disposed of the Centre's petition regarding a proposal for release of the convicts, filed by the state government. The apex court had also disposed of the Centre's petition opposing Tamil Nadu government's earlier proposal for the release of the convicts.
Fisheries Minister D JayaKumar told reporters that “though the apex court had asked the Governor to consider the plea of Perarivalan, the government decided to recommend setting free all others also as they had also petitioned seeking premature release.”
Former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991 at Sriperumbudur near Chennai by an LTTE woman suicide bomber, Dhanu, at an election rally. Fourteen others, including Dhanu herself, were also killed.
(With PTI Inputs)