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Government’s ‘no’ to free Rajiv killers condemned

Chennai, April 20 (IANS) The PMK and CPI on Wednesday condemned the central government’s refusal to back the release of seven convicts linked to former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination.

PMK founder S. Ramadoss said the central government’s stand on the issue was unacceptable. He said New Delhi had told the Tamil Nadu government not to release the convicts as the matter was sub-judice.

In March, the Tamil Nadu government had written to the central government seeking its views on the release of the convicts.

Ramadoss said the central government’s stand was “anti-Tamil”.

According to CPI leader R. Mutharasan, the Tamil Nadu government was trying to gain political mileage by writing to the central government when assembly elections were around the corner.

The Supreme Court on December 2, 2015 ruled that the Tamil Nadu government could release the convicts only in consultation with the central government in cases investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The seven convicts are V. Sriharan alais Murugan, T. Suthendraraja alais Santhan, A.G. Perarivalan, Jayakumar, Robert Payas, Ravichandran and Nalini Sriharan, wife of Sriharan.

All seven have been in prison since 1991, the year a woman Tamil Tiger suicide bomber blew up Rajiv Gandhi at an election rally near Chennai.

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