The Tamil Nadu government has decided to seek the release of the seven persons convicted for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. The recommendation of the state cabinet will be sent to the Governor immediately, said state minister D Jayakumar.
Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination by an LTTE bomber in May 1991, and the subsequent trial and conviction of the assassins have been an emotive subject in Tamil Nadu.
Many in the state believe the convicts played minor roles and were drawn into a plot they knew little about.
The convicts – Perarivalan, Murugan, Santham, Nalini Sriharan, Robert Payas, Jayakumar and Ravichandran – have been in jail for 27 years, serving life terms.
Last month, in response to a petition by the state, the Centre had told the Supreme Court that the killers cannot be released. Calling the assassination a “most heinous and brutal crime” the Centre said it would “set a very dangerous precedent and lead to international ramifications by other such criminals in the future”.