Families of blast victims oppose move to release Rajiv case convicts

Will implead themselves in the case filed by Centre against the State’s decision

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:26 pm IST

Published - February 21, 2014 01:24 am IST - CHENNAI

Family members of victims of the Rajiv Gandhi assassination addressing the media in Chennai on Thursday. Photo: R. Ragu

Family members of victims of the Rajiv Gandhi assassination addressing the media in Chennai on Thursday. Photo: R. Ragu

Expressing their deep sense of hurt over Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s decision to release the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, the families of a few of those killed in the bomb blast at Sriperumbudur in 1991, on Thursday, said they would implead themselves in a case filed by the Centre against the State government’s decision. Addressing a press conference, along with some district-level Congress leaders, they said they would wait till March 6 when the apex court takes up the case for hearing.

The apex court had asked Tamil Nadu to maintain status quo on three prisoners — Suthendraraja alias Santhan, V Sriharan alias Murugan and A.G. Perarivalan— whose death sentence was commuted to life term on Tuesday.

Congress spokesman ‘Americai’ V. Narayanan said the Chief Minister’s decision to release the convicts smacked of politicking for electoral gains, as her government had been opposing parole for Nalini, citing security concerns. “She should remember that she is also the Chief Minister for the victims,” he said. The kin of victims said they were pained by Ms. Jayalalithaa’s decision to release convicts, including those whose death sentence was commuted to life term by the Supreme Court.

“Where is the justice for the bereaved families after all these years,” asked S. Abbas, who lost his mother Shanthini Begum in the Sriperumbudur blasts. Of the 15 other victims of the blast, five were Congress workers while and 10 were policemen, including nine from the State force.

“We are not advocating death penalty but we want those convicted by the highest court of carrying out a heinous act to undergo the punishment meted out by the court. They cannot be allowed to walk scot free,” said ‘League’ M. Mohan, whose Congressman father ‘League’ P. Munusamy was one of the victims.

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