Rajiv Gandhi case takes ugly political turn in Tamil Nadu

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Jayalalithaa-Karunanidhi
Chennai, Aug 30: With the fate of former PM Rajiv Gandhi's assassins still undecided, the issue has taken an ugly political turn with the various political parties in the state using it to bash each other. With the earlier decision to carry out the death sentence on Sept 9 not likely to happen, the trio presently housed in the Vellore Central Prison moved the Madras High Court seeking a stay on their hanging verdict.

Various voices rooting for and against the death sentence are coming out with the most high profile among them from DMK chief M. Karunanidhi who said, "Had young leader Rajiv Gandhi been alive today, that noble man would have definitely come forward to save the lives of Santhan, Perarivalan and Murugan, responding to the voice of true Tamils and in accordance with the golden saying of Anna, forget and forgive."

Apart from the various pro-Tamil groups arguing against the execution of the three accused, MDMK general secretary Vaiko and advocate N. Chandrasekaran have also come forward in support and filed a petition on behalf of three convicts, Murugan alias Sriharan, T. Suthendraraja alias Santhan and A.G. Perarivalan alias Arivu. The hearing of this particular petition will be heard on Tuesday.

Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, J Jayalalithaa however stated on Tuesday that she did not have enough power to pardon the accused. She also made a jibe at Karunanidhi's argument saying that the DMK chief had himself called for the rejection of the mercy plea of three persons and the carrying on with the life sentence for Nalini. DMDK leader Vijayakanth has also demanded the cancellation of the death sentence of the trio.

Meanwhile, various Tamil groups have stepped up pressure against the death sentence to the three accused. More than 100 law college students were arrested by Chennai Police for carrying out a procession to Raj Bhavan. There were a couple of self-immolation bids as well seeking the death sentence for the accused.

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