After SC restrained the Tamil Nadu government from releasing Rajiv case convicts

Hours after the Supreme Court on Thursday restrained Tamil Nadu government from releasing the seven convicts in the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, opposition leaders and MLAs flayed the State government and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for acting in haste.

Puthiya Thamizhagam leader Dr. K. Krishnasamy said the development was the result of the State government not maintaining good relations with the Centre.

Noting diplomacy was lacking and there was need for the State to act in tandem with the Centre, he said Ms. Jayalalithaa should have consulted parties and followed the procedures if it meant a day or two more.

He was interacting with presspersons at the Secretariat here. Stating that only such outcomes could be expected if political gains drove decisions, Dr. Krishnasamy, whose party is an ally of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, said with the latest development “their [convicts] chances of release as per natural justice has also spoilt.”

To a query, he said the alliance leader and DMK president M. Karunanidhi would be writing to the Centre and that was expected to result in their release.

Two Congress MLAs, S. Vijayadharani and J.G. Prince, also condemned the State government’s decision while interacting with presspersons at the Secretariat.

Ms. Vijayadharani said with the elections nearing the decision to release the convicts was “purely a political decision.” Moreover, the decision would set a wrong precedent and make every State demand release of convicts. “If convicts are allowed to go scot-free, people, particularly victims and their families, will suffer and be targeted once again,” she said. Describing it as a decision with malafide intention, she claimed after the release of these convicts the State wanted to release “their own partymen in the Dharmapuri bus burning case. In that case, they wanted to take remission, commute the sentence and try to get them released in the same manner.” Mr. Prince said: “We also have the same feelings for Tamils but that should not be at the risk of giving rise to terrorism on the Tamil soil. We are not against Tamils but against outfits like LTTE.”

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