All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Jayalalithaa has criticised what she said was a move by the State government to release 500 life convicts to coincide with the ongoing World Classical Tamil conference in Coimbatore.

In a statement here on Friday, Ms. Jayalalithaa said any such move would be “undemocratic” and would amount to disrespecting the court. When a similar release of 1,405 life convicts was made by the DMK regime during the centenary celebrations of Annadurai in 2008, she had opposed it saying it was against Anna's policy.

She alleged that most of the prisoners released then belonged to the DMK, including those involved in the Madurai Corporation councillor Leelavathi murder case. It was these convicts who had worked in support of the DMK in the local body by-elections and Lok Sabha elections.

Ms. Jayalalitha said she feared that any such move by the DMK government would be an attempt to utilise them for election malpractices in the coming Assembly elections.

The move would embolden anti-social elements to commit grave crimes.