Backing Tamil Nadu government’s decision to release all the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, DMK President M Karunanidhi on Thursday asked the Centre to take steps for the release of the seven prisoners.
Within hours of the Tamil Nadu government informing Centre about its decision to remit the life sentence of all the seven and release them besides seeking the latter’s view on the matter, Karunanidhi said the convicts had served “almost double life sentence” by “languishing” in jail for about 25 years.
“The seven persons languishing in jail for 25 years have been serving almost double life sentence. Further, their release last time was delayed due to the wrong approach of the Tamil Nadu government,” he said in an apparent reference to the Supreme Court staying an earlier order of Tamil Nadu releasing them.
“Now, based on the letter written by the state government, Centre should take immediate steps for the release of the seven,” he said in a statement.
Earlier, Chief Secretary K Gnanadesikan had written to Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, informing him of the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to remit the life sentence of the seven — V Sriharan alias Murugan, T Suthendraraja alias Santhan, A G Perarivalan alias Arivu, Jayakumar, Robert Payas, Ravichandran and Nalini — and sought Centre’s views on the matter.
Former Prime Minister Gandhi and 14 others were killed on May 21, 1991 when a suicide bomber blew herself up at an election campaign rally in Sriperumbudur, near Chennai.