Tamil Nadu plea to free Rajiv killers being studied: Rajnath
New Delhi: The government is examining a Tamil Nadu government's plea seeking the release of those linked to the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday.
"We have received the letter yesterday and the government is examining it. The apex court has already given its decision on the matter. Now it is the constitutional and moral responsibility of the government to abide by the decision of the apex court," Rajnath Singh told the Lok Sabha.
Earlier, the issue was raised by Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who urged the government not to entertain the letter from the Tamil Nadu government. "The letter should not be entertained at all. The assassins must not be released - to uphold the integrity of the country for which Rajivji gave his life," he said.
Deciding to release all seven convicts in the Gandhi assassination case now in jail, the Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday sought the views of the central government.
In a letter to union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary K. Gnanadesikan said the state government had received petitions from the seven convicts requesting their release as they had spent over 24 years in jail.
The seven convicts are V. Sriharan alias Murugan, T. Suthendraraja alias Santhan, A.G. Perarivalan, Jayakumar, Robert Payas, Ravichandran and Nalini Sriharan, wife of Murugan. All seven have been in prison since 1991, the year a woman Tamil Tiger suicide bomber blew up Rajiv Gandhi at an election rally near Chennai.