Chennai: Several pro-Tamil outfits and political parties took out a rally here demanding release of seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination who have completed 25 years in jail today. Led by Arputhammal, mother of one of the convict Perarivalan, leaders of various political parties, film personalities, activists and supporters participated in the march.
PMK Youth wing leader and Dharmapuri MP Anbumani Ramadoss, film actors Nasser, Ponvannan and Satyaraj and director Vikaraman were among those who participated in the rally.
Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was killed by a suicide bomber at nearby Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991 and seven persons–Murugan, Santhan, Perarivalan, Nalini, Robert Payas, Jayakumar and Ravichandran–were convicted in the case. Nalini’s death sentence was commuted to life in 2000 following a cabinet recommendation and appeal by Rajiv’s wife, Sonia Gandhi.
Supreme Court had commuted the death sentence of Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan in February 2014 following delay in a decision on their mercy plea. Tamil Nadu government had in March this year decided to remit the sentences of all the seven convicts and release them. It had sought the Centre’s views on the matter.
The Centre had, however, rejected the proposal. The matter is since pending in the Supreme Court.