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Can’t release Rajiv-accused, says State Law Minister

Friday, January 12, 2018 • Tamil Comments

Tamil Nadu State Law, Courts & Prisons Minister C.Ve. Shanmugam has said that it is not ‘feasible’ at this present juncture to release the seven main accused persons in the case involving the May, 1991 assassination of former prime-minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Rajiv Gandhi, who was the then Congress president, was assassinated when a human bomb (later identified as Dhanu) went off within hand-shaking distance from him when he arrived at Sriperumbudur off Chennai on the ill-fated afternoon of 21st May in 1991. He was to address an election meeting at the venue. The now-defunct LTTE later took responsibility for assassinating the former prime-minister.

Seven main accused in the case including Nalini, Murugan, Perarivalan and Robert Paes have been undergoing prison term for the past 26 years. The Jayalalithaa regime in the State took an unilateral decision to release them in 2011 but the move was challenged by the then Congress-led UPA regime at the Centre which told the Supreme Court that it had its own reservations in releasing the accused persons.

The accused had been pleading hard with the Centre to consider releasing them as they had served more than quarter of a century in prison for a crime in which they weren’t directly involved. Tamil Nadu Law Minister Shanmugam has now said that as the case is still sub-judice in the Supreme Court, the State can’t take a decision at this present juncture about releasing the accused persons.