Strong anti-Congress and Tamil nationalist sentiments ruled the press meet convened by leading unions of the Tamil film industry in the city on Saturday evening to voice their support to the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to free seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi case.

Representative office-bearers of leading unions — Tamilnadu Film Directors Association, Film Employees Federations of South India, Tamil Film Producers’ Council and South Indian Artistes Association — all hailed Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for the decision to adopt a resolution in the State Assembly to free the convicts.

Speakers, including directors Bharathiraaja, Ameer, R.K. Selvamani, actors Radharavi and Sathyaraj, among others, said the decision to free the convicts, who were facing death row until recently, had gladdened the hearts of all Tamils.

They said legally it was clear that all of them had already served their life terms and the government decision to release them must be welcomed on humanitarian grounds.

Taking strong exception to some of the objections being raised by the Opposition parties, especially the Congress party, the speakers said it was important for all parties to acknowledge the strong sentiments in the State.

Bharathiraaja appealed to everyone to avoid politicising the issue. “Some sentiments have been expressed against some political parties. But the most important point to note here is this is an humanitarian appeal to secure the release of these people. People like Arputhammal (Perarivalan’s mother) has died every single night over the past many years as they waited for their clemency petition to be heard. Enough is enough.”

All the unions have pledged their support to the Chief Minister on this issue.

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