Special Correspondent

COIMBATORE: “I am not surprised that only life imprisonment has been given to the key accused in the Coimbatore serial blasts case,” former State president of the Bharatiya Janata Party C.P. Radhakrishnan said reacting to the sentences given by the special court on Wednesday.

“We are a nation that could not execute the court judgment (death sentence) against those responsible for the killing of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who took a decision to safeguard peace in the Indian Ocean region not as an individual but as the Prime Minister,” Mr. Radhakrishnan said.

Fear psychosis

He said he was citing this instance to lament that those accused of involvement in the Coimbatore blasts that killed 58 people and created a fear psychosis in the city were not given a greater punishment.

“The life sentence will not have the required impact in terms of preventing terrorist activities,” he said.

“When Abdul Nasser Maudany himself has been set at liberty, mere life sentences to the others have not come as a surprise to me,” said Mr. Radhakrishnan, who was the BJP’s candidate for the Coimbatore constituency during the Lok Sabha election campaign when the blasts occurred.

Resolution

The two-time Lok Sabha MP from Coimbatore said it was also unfortunate that even a resolution had been moved in the Kerala Assembly seeking the release of Mr. Maudany, Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party in that State.

Explosions

The then party president, L.K. Advani, was heading for Coimbatore to campaign for Mr. Radhakrishnan when a series of explosions, including those close to the public meeting venues occurred in many parts of the city on February 14, 1998.

More In: TAMIL NADU | NATIONAL