By John Edwards, Panaji, Feb 20 IBNS | 6 months ago

All India Congress Committee General Secretary Digvijaya Singh on Thursday slammed the Tamil Nadu government for announcing the decision to release the seven people convicted of plotting the murder of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.


Speaking to reporters in South Goa, Singh said the Congress party is shocked over TN chief minister J Jayalalithaa's decision to free them all.

"The people of India cannot afford to let killers roam freely. We are shocked by the statement of Jayalalithaa that after their sentence was commuted to life imprisonment they would be set free," Singh said.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday commuted the death sentence of Rajiv Gandhi's killers to life in prison following which the TN government took a Cabinet decision to release the convicts.

"Let us not politicise the issue... not compromise with perpetrators of terror act to ensure that terror activities are stopped," Singh said.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the release of three convicts based on a petition filed by the Union Government against the TN decision.

The apex court has asked to maintain status quo on three prisoners Suthendraraja alias Santhan, V Sriharan alias Murugan and A G Perarivalan alias Arivu.

They have been in jail for more than 20 years and on death row since 1998 until the SC ordered to spare the death sentence.

Nalini Sriharan-another assassin-was also given death penalty by the trial court in 1998 but the authorities commuted to life imprisonment in 2000.

However, the court on Thursday did not stay the release of four other convicts in the case.

Rajiv Gandhi, the sixth Prime Minister of India, was killed at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu, India on 21 May 1991. At least 14 others were also killed.

His assassination was carried out by Thenmozhi Rajaratnam, also known as Dhanu, who was found after investigations to be a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) suicide bomber.

(Posted on 20-02-2014)


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