Congress ‘deeply pained, disappointed’ over Perarivalan’s release, slams government

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also wondered whether lakhs of convicts facing life terms should also be freed.

Updated - May 18, 2022 10:52 pm IST

Published - May 18, 2022 04:22 pm IST - New Delhi

AICC general secretary Randeep Surjewala during a meeting at the Congress headquarters in New Delhi on May 18, 2022.

AICC general secretary Randeep Surjewala during a meeting at the Congress headquarters in New Delhi on May 18, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

The country is saddened and disappointed by the decision of the Supreme Court to release A.G. Perarivalan, who was convicted in the assassination of former Prime Minister, the Congress said on Wednesday and blamed the Narendra Modi government’s “inaction” that allowed the court to take such a decision.

If those convicted for the assassination of a former Prime Minister is released like this then who will uphold the majesty of law, asked party general secretary and chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala at a press conference.

“Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and his government need to answer today: Is this your duplicity and double speak on terrorism? Are you going to be complicit in release of terrorists and murderers of the former Prime Minister of this country? Is it acquiescence by silence?” Mr. Surjewala said.

The Congress leader said a September 9, 2018 recommendation by the previous AIADMK-led Tamil Nadu government and the inaction by the Governor and the President of India, who is advised the Union Council of Minister, paved the way for the release of all the convicts who are serving a life term.

“There is a sorrow and fury not only in every Congress worker, but in every Indian who believes in India and Indianness, who believes in fighting against extremism and every force that challenges the sovereignty and integrity of India,” Mr. Surjewala said, adding, “A terrorist is a terrorist and should be treated as one. Today, we are deeply pained and disappointed at the decision of the Supreme Court ordering the release of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassin”.

The Congress leader said it doesn’t augur well for democracy and the Constitution if the “assassins of a former Prime Minister is allowed to come out of jail because the present government had adversarial relations with the former PM”.

When pointed out that members of the Gandhi family, including Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Rahul Gandhi, had publicly stated that they don’t bear ill-will against the convicts, he said, “ Rahulji, Priyankaji, Soniaji, harbour r no ill will for they believe in the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi and Buddha where you pardon anybody who has harmed you... but, that does not change the law and the Constitution of this country”.

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