Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa on Wednesday decided to release all seven Rajiv Gandhi killers a day after the Supreme Court commuted death penalty of three convicts. The Supreme Court had commuted the death sentence of three convicts in the case to life imprisonment on the ground of delay in deciding their mercy plea by the Centre. (Read more here)
Meanwhile, Jaya has given the centre three days to respond. "If centre doesn't respond in three days, I will release the convicts under Cr.Pc section 432 in accordance with the powers vested with the state government", she said.
All seven convicts have been serving imprisonment since 1991, the year a woman Tamil Tiger suicide bomber blew up former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi at an election rally in Tamil Nadu.
Rahul Gandhi, son of Rajiv Gandhi, had expressed disappointment with Jaya's decision. On Wednesday, Rahul said "What should the common man expect if a prime minister's assassins are freed". (Read more here).
All seven convicts have been serving imprisonment since 1991
It is known that, the Congress has put weight behind Rahul and has decided to approach Supreme Court against Jaya's decision.
Nalini's daughter expresses gratitude
Harithra Sriharan, the 22-year-old daughter of Murugan and Nalini, convicts in Rajiv Gandhi case, apologised to Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday.
"I'm really sorry for Rahul Gandhi. My parents have regretted enough, they deserve forgiveness. I can understand losing someone you love," Harithra told NDTV.
She also thanked Jayalalithaa. "I'm thankful to Ms Jayalalithaa. She made it possible. I can't express how happy I am. I always knew one day my parents would walk free. They are innocent," she said.
Haritha's parents were handed the death sentence in 1999. In 2000, Nalini was granted mercy after Congress president and Rajiv Gandhi's wife Sonia Gandhi intervened.
Jaya's decision was lauded by her archrival Karunanidhi and other political parties in Tamil Nadu. (Read more)