Releasing the Rajiv Murder Convicts will set a Bad Example
The Central Government of India said releasing the four foreign nationals convicted of committing the gruesome assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, in connivance with three Indian nationals, “will set a very dangerous precedent and lead to international ramifications.”
In its communication to the Tamil Nadu government, rejecting its request for concurrence to its proposal to grant remission to the seven life convicts in the case, the Central government said “… the murder of a former Prime Minister, for what he did for the country was an act of exceptional depravity on the part of the accused, an unparalleled act in the annals of crimes committed in India.”
An Indian Media reported on June 15 that, the T.N. government’s plea to release the seven convicts had been turned down by the President.
The order issued by the Home Ministry of India on behalf of the President, said the “diabolical plot carefully conceived and executed” by a highly organised foreign terrorist organisation claimed 16 lives including nine police officers and brought the democratic process to a halt.
The Tamil Nadu government has in the last four years, written twice to the Union Home Ministry to pardon the seven convicted prisoners and release them on humanitarian grounds.
“The trial court had given cogent reasons for imposing the death penalty upon the accused persons. While referring to the diabolical conspiracy, the use of a female human bomb, the number of lives lost in the incident etc. it justified the award of the death penalty; the three judges of the Supreme Court highlighted the conspiracy and the horrific nature of the crime and held that the case fell under the category of rarest of rare cases.”
On February 14, following Supreme Court directions, the Ministry sought details on eight grounds from the State government to “facilitate further” its request to release the seven convicts.
It asked the State government to furnish details on grounds like “physical and mental status of the convicts”, their “economic and social background” and the previous cases registered against them.
The seven convicts are V. Sriharan alias Murugan, A.G. Perarivalan, T. Suthendraraja alias Santhan, Jayakumar, Robert Payas, Ravichandran and Nalini.
“The plot was executed with the active help and participation of these convicts and others who were LTTE militants or its staunch supporters…the brutal act brought the lndian democratic process to a grinding halt,” the order said.