Chennai: Leading film directors, actors, writers and functionaries of political parties took part in a rally held in the city on Saturday demanding the release of seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
The rally led by Arpudham Ammal, mother of Perarivalan, one of the convicts, began at Rajarathinam stadium at Egmore in the city and a petition was submitted to the Chief Minister’s cell.
PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss, president of Tamil Film Directors Union Vikraman and Gowthaman along with national award winning Tamil directors Vetrimaran, Ram, Amir, Jananathan took part in the rally.
President of South Indian Film Artistes Union Naser, actors Sathyaraj, Thiyagu, MDMK deputy general secretary E. Sathya, Thamizhar Desiya Munnani leader P. Nedumaran, Naam Thamizhar Katchi leader Seeman, besides functionaries of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, May 17 movement and other Tamil nationalist groups participated in the rally.
Arpudham Ammal said Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa alone could take steps for the release of the seven convicts and hoped that she would help in their early release.
She said her son Perarivalan and others were in prison for the last 25 years and Perarivalan’s youthful days had been spent in jail. The seven prisoners had not been given parole and had not seen the outside world for the last 25 years, she said.
MDMK general secretary Vaiko appealed to the Chief Minister to release the convicts using section 161 of the CrPc and added that she would be appreciated by Tamils all over the world, if she released the convicts.
Tamil Nationalist leader Nedumaran said the Centre should not intervene if the state government used its powers under section 161 of CrPC and released the convicts. Keeping them in prison for more than 25 years would be against human sympathy. Actor Sathyaraj said the rally was organised to support Jayalalithaa and strengthen her hands to release the seven convicts and expressed confidence she would do so.