It does put the DMK- Congress alliance in a spot of bother as the former cannot question this decision taken by the Tamil Nadu government.
Is it humanity, vote bank of just a salvo hurled at disturbing the alliance? While these are debatable points, one must understand the pain of an investigator who puts in thousands of hours probing the case. The Rajiv Gandhi case was a blind one to begin with. For the first time a human bomb was used.
The likes of R Karthikeyan, R Srikumar, Professor Chandrasekaran, Radha Vinod Raju among others were part of this team which probed this extremely challenging case. It required intelligence, forensic and what was even more difficult is that the accused were sitting in another country.
How do the investigators feel about the decision?
Former CBI Director, R Karthikeyan was the lead investigator in the case. He says that it was a blind case as there was not much information and even the intelligence did not have many clues. Amidst threats from the LTTE on a regular basis, we worked almost 20 hours everyday.
During the investigation we seized and examined over 100,000 photographs, seized 500 video cassettes and several material related to the case. My team and I managed to collect all the evidence and the accused were prosecuted which was also upheld by the Supreme Court.
We ensured that the conviction went through with proper evidence. These convicts then filed a mercy petition and then went up to the Supreme Court stating that their petitions had not been decided upon for 11 long years.
The court commuted their death sentences to life based on this delay. But let us remember that the Supreme Court has not held them innocent.
It is sad that this is playing out today. People have forgotten the incident and people are looking to take credit for the release. It is sad indeed.
R Srikumar who was also part of the team says that they did their job. The understanding of a life sentence is that the person remains in prison for life. One must look into why there was a delay in deciding the mercy petition. I leave it up to the government to decide.