Rajiv Gandhi’s killing ‘the most heinous and brutal crime’, centre tells top court

Rajiv Gandhi (File Image)

Seven prisoners are jailed in Tamil Nadu for assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Objecting to their release, on Friday the centre reportedly said that setting the convicts free will send a wrong message across the country and world.

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The assassination of Rajiv Gandhi was a “most heinous and brutal crime,” the government said, one which had brought the Indian democratic process to a “grinding halt” as general and state elections had to be postponed.

“…Releasing the four foreign nationals who had committed the gruesome murder of former prime minister of this country, along with 15 others most of whom were police officers, in connivance with three Indian nationals will set a very dangerous precedent and lead to international ramifications by other such criminals in the future,” Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Joint Secretary V B Dubey said in a reply filed before a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Navin Sinha and K M Joseph.

The  CBI opposed the releasing of the seven convicts. The convicts – Perarivalan, Murugan, Santham, Nalini Sriharan, Robert Payas, Jayakumar and Ravichandran are serving life imprisonment and are in the jail for 27 years.

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The court has asked the centre to decide and respond to Tamil Nadu’s request to release them. Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a woman of the separatist Lankan Tamil outfit LTTE, who greeted him at a rally in Sriperumbudur town with a bomb strapped to her chest.

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