Vaiko demands mercy for Rajiv Gandhi's assassins
Chennai, Sep 25 (ANI): Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) chief Vaiko has appealed to the Central Government to reconsider the death sentences awarded to the assassins of late former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Vaiko and his supporters observed a hunger strike here today demanding mercy for Gandhi's assassins.
Vaiko asserted that Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan were innocent and that they should not be hanged.
He said that Tamils were seriously concerned about the decision to be taken by the Central Government, regarding the death sentence of these assassins.
"Millions and millions of Tamils are terribly concerned and agitated over the issue of the proposed hanging confirmed by the Central Government to execute Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan, the condemned prisoners in Vellore prison," said Vaiko.
Vaiko further said that all the three assassins were already in prison for more than 21 years and demanded that they should be released.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha had taken all possible steps to ensure that the federal government would review the decision on awarding the death sentence to all the three assassins.
"Tamil Nadu has never witnessed such a tumultuous, spontaneous upsurge against a proposal, cutting across party lines, particularly the youth force have lodged many agitations," said Vaiko.
Vaiko further accused the United Progressive Alliance Government of conspiring against the Tamils and betraying them.
"The Union Government guided by Sonia Gandhi, the United Progressive Alliance Government to take a decision to commute the sentence. I make an accusation with all sincerity that the central government which has betrayed the Tamils, the Tamils of Eelam, who were massacred by the brutal genocidal attacks of the Sri Lankan government, which was fully geared up and assisted by the government of India," he said.
Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a woman suicide bomber, at an election rally in Sriperumbudur near Chennai on May 21, 1991.
Among the 26 accused tried by a special designated trial court, Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan and Nalini were sentenced to death in 1998.
Later in 2000, the death sentence awarded to Nalini was commuted to life imprisonment following a clemency appeal before the President of India.
However, the death sentence for the three, Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan was confirmed since the President turned down their clemency pleas. (ANI)
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