Sad at TN govt decision to free Rajiv assassins: Rahul Gandhi; Centre, Congress slam Jayalalithaa

Published Feb 20, 2014, 1:26 am IST
Updated Mar 19, 2019, 9:18 am IST
How will common man get justice if PM's killers are released, asks Rahul; Centre slams Jaya.

Amethi: Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said he was sad over the Tamil Nadu government's decision to set free all the seven people convicted in the assassination of his father and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Congress party and the Centre too echoed Rahul's views and expressed displeasure over Jayalalithaa government's move. 


Though Jayalalithaa mentioned that the state government has written to the Centre, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said that 'no letter has come from TN government on its move to release the convicts'. 

MoS Home R.P.N. Singh termed the decision as 'extremely unfortunate' endorsing Rahul Gandhi's remarks.

Commenting on the issue, BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said," The news of Rajiv Gandhi's assassins being treated with compassion is disturbing. Killing PM of India is a serious offence."

Rajiv killers to be freed in 3 days

Rahul Gandhi, the Congress Vice President, who was 21 when Rajiv was killed by a suicide bomber at an election rally in Sriperumbedur, near Chennai, on May 21, 1991, at the same time said he was not in favour of death penalty.

"I am sad the killers are being released," Rahul said with a tinge of emotion, while noting that the assassins of his father, who worked for the rights of the people, were being set free.

Rahul also said that if a Prime Minister, who sacrificed his life for the nation, does not get justice how will a common man get justice.

"If some person kills the PM and is released then how will a common man will get justice. It's a point to ponder," he said while addressing a gathering at Purab village here in Jagdishpur.

"In this country even the PM does not get justice. This is my heart's voice," he said.

Rahul said he does not believe in capital punishment as it won't bring his father back.

"I don't believe in capital punishment as it won't  bring my father back. But it is not just a matter of my father or the family, it is the matter of the country," he added.  

Tamil Nadu Government on Wednesday decided to set free within  three days all the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi  assassination case after the Supreme Court commuted the death penalty of three assassins.

Besides Santhan, Murugan, the husband of Nalini, Perarivalan, who earned a major reprieve from the apex court yesterday which spared them from gallows, Nalini, Robert Pious,  Jayakumar and Ravichandran would walk out from prison.

Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, who took the decision  for early release of the Rajiv killers at an emergency Cabinet meeting convened this morning over the issue, made a suo motu announcement in the state assembly. 

Next: TN's decision to free Rajiv assassins perverse, populist: Congress

TN's decision to free Rajiv assassins perverse, populist: Congress

New Delhi: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa's decision for early release of Rajiv Gandhi's killers invited a sharp reaction from Congress, which termed it as 'irresponsible, perverse and populist'.

Slamming AIADMK government's decision, AICC spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said, "Any perverse decision is also liable for judicial scrutiny" but remained evasive when asked whether Congress will ask Centre to approach court in this matter. He insisted that there is a fundamental difference between commutation of a sentence and release or remission.

The party has already made it clear that it has no issue with the Supreme Court order commuting the death sentence of Rajiv killers to life imprisonment. "Every state has powers of remission but these are the powers, which are to be exercised by Constitutional functionaries" in the light of rules and regulations and the spirit of any judicial order.

"The nation cannot forget that it lost not only its Prime Minister but also 17 other Indian citizens including Tamils to terrorism. We condemn unequivocally such irresponsible statements and decisions by such Constitutional functionaries.

"... Such decisions announced in such casual fashion and cavalier manner need to be condemned irrespective of regional, populist and other considerations. This decision fails to take into account the scourge of terrorism and the spirit of Constitution," Singhvi said replying to questions.

Maintaining that the Supreme Court has not talked about release and remissions in its order, Singhvi said it simply followed an old order commuting death sentence of the accused to life imprisonment.

Criticising the decision, Singhvi said Jayalalithaa should remember that it was a constitutional head of the government once who was assassinated in this case. He at the same time skirted queries as to what decision the Centre would take into the issue. The Congress spokesperson stressed that what he was saying is the party view while people are entitled to have their personal views.

"The party's stand is clear before you, the nation, the government and Tamil Nadu... when the party through me, an official spokesperson says something from the official podium, it stands with it. Individual stands are individual personal opinions. They are not the party's stand," he said.

Union minister Rajeev Shukla said that the decision taken by the Tamil Nadu government is 'highly deplorable' and wondered why there was so much hurry in it.

"The issue involved a Prime Minister and therefore the Tamil Nadu government should have thought twice over the matter," he said. Jayalalithaa, who took the decision for early release of the Rajiv killers at an emergency Cabinet meeting convened this morning over the issue, made a suo motu announcement in the state assembly.

She said in compliance with the Sec 435 of Cr. Pc., the state would send the Cabinet decision to the Centre seeking its nod for the release as the CBI filed the case against the convicts.

"If there is no reply within three days from the Centre, the state government will release all the seven under CrPc section 432 in accordance with the powers vested with it," she declared.

Majority of political parties in the state had demanded immediate release of convicts in the backdrop of Supreme Court observation that the state can consider their release. DMK chief M. Karunanidhi also lauded his arch political rival Jayalalithaa for her decision.