Chennai, June 21 (PTI): The Tamil Nadu government will continue to seek freedom for the seven people convicted of killing former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in the Supreme Court in line with the policy decision taken by it, a top government functionary said on Thursday.
“We will put forth our arguments in the Supreme Court to free them and this is in line with the policy decision of the government,” he told PTI on condition of anonymity when asked to comment on media reports that the Centre has rejected Tamil Nadu’s plea for their release. According to news reports, the Centre has told the Tamil Nadu government that it does not concur with the state’s stand on releasing the convicts, who are in jail for the last 25 years, as it would set a bad precedent. The convicts are: V Sriharan (alias Murugan), A G Perarivalan (alias Arivu), T Suthendraraja (alias Santhan), Jayakumar, Robert Payas, Ravichandran and Nalini. Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated at an election rally at Sriperumbudur near here on May 21, 1991 by a woman suicide bomber.
Altogether 15 people were killed in the blast, including Dhanu, the suicide bomber. On January 23 this year, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre to take a decision within three months on a 2016 letter by Tamil Nadu government seeking its approval for releasing them. The Tamil Nadu government had written to the Centre on March 2, 2016, that it had decided to release the convicts and sought its concurrence.