TN cabinet decides to release all Rajiv case convicts

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- FILE PHOTO 16APR91 - A file photo of assassinated former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. [A judge in the south Indian city of Madras on January 28 found 26 people guilty of conspiring to murder Gandhi during an election rally on May 21, 1991 and sentenced all of them to death by hanging. The judge also upheld a charge of conspiracy to kill Gandhi against Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels at the end of a marathon trial that began in May 1993].

Chennai: The AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu Sunday decided to recommend to the state Governor Banwarilal Purohit, the release of all seven life convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

A resolution to this effect was adopted at the state cabinet which met here under Chief Minister K Palaniswami’s leadership, Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar told reporters.

It decided to recommend to Governor Purohit, the release of Murugan, Santhan, Perarivalan, Jayakumar, Ravichandran, Robert Payas and Nalini, serving life imprisonment.

The moves comes days after the Supreme Court asked the Tamil Nadu Governor to consider the mercy petition of Perarivalan seeking remission or pardon under Article 161 of the Constitution and disposed of the Centre’s petition opposing Tamil Nadu government’s earlier proposal for the release of the convicts.

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, he said.

The cabinet resolution will be sent to the Governor “immediately,” he said.

Former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991 at Sriperumbudur near here by an LTTE woman suicide bomber, Dhanu, at an election rally. Fourteen others, including Dhanu herself, were also killed.

 

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