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Updated: February 4, 2010 00:02 IST

No unilateral decision on Nalini’s release, says Karunanidhi

Special Correspondent
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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi. He told reporters on Wednesday that no unilateral decision had been taken for the premature release of Nalini.
The Hindu Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi. He told reporters on Wednesday that no unilateral decision had been taken for the premature release of Nalini.

“The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government will not unilaterally announce its decision on issues that requires consultations at the national level,” Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said in reply to a question whether his government would consult the Central government on the issue of premature release of Nalini, one of the convicts in the Rajiv assassination case.

Mr. Karunanidhi addressed a press conference at the party headquarters here on Wednesday after paying homage to former Chief Minister and DMK founder C.N.Annadurai on the occasion of his 41st death anniversary.

[Nalini, who was arrested on June 14, 1991, was sentenced to death, along with 25 others, by a special court here on January 28, 1998. The Supreme Court, on May 11, 1999, confirmed death only on four of the convicts, including Nalini.

On October 8 that year, the court declined review of the death penalty. However, on April 25, 2000, then Governor Fathima Beevi ordered the commutation of Nalini’s death sentence to life sentence.]

Asked for his opinion on the Nalini premature release issue, Mr. Karunanidhi replied that he could not give an opinion on the issue.

Recalling that the State government, on the advice of the Madras High Court [in September 2008], constituted the Prison Advisory Board to consider the issue, he said the report of the Board was “on the way.” [The Board, headed by the Vellore District Collector, met on January 20, 2010 to hear Nalini’s plea for premature release].

Permanent residence

To a query regarding the Central government’s response to the DMK’s demand, articulated at the party conference in Kancheepuram in September last year, for according permanent residence status to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in the State, Mr. Karunanidhi replied that the Centre had intimated to the government that it was examining the demand.

On his recent meeting with National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon, the Chief Minister said views on coastal security were exchanged. He had condemned the attacks on fishermen of Tamil Nadu by Sri Lanka’s Army and fishermen.

He had impressed on Mr. Menon the need for early enactment of the constitutional amendment, envisaging devolution of powers to Sri Lankan Tamils

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