Skip to main content

Political game around demand to release Rajiv Gandhi killers: Govt of India in dilemma

By NS Venkataraman*

In 1991, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was murdered at Sriperumbudur near Chennai, while he was there to address a public meeting. He was killed by a woman suicide bomber, who belonged to the terrorist organization Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and she was also killed. Along with Rajiv Gandhi, another fourteen innocent persons were killed in the explosion and more than 40 people were injured.
The investigation of the murder of Rajiv Gandhi revealed that it was done by LTTE terrorists, who tried to escape. However, police identified them and caught them and took them into custody. After prolonged court hearing, the judiciary convicted seven terrorists including a woman and her husband and ordered that they should undergo life imprisonment.
In any other country, when such an important functionary such as a former Prime Minister would be murdered and the murderers would be caught, they would have been hanged. In the case of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, her security guards who were murderers were subjected to death sentence and were hanged. However, this has not happened in the case of Rajiv Gandhi murderers. All the convicted persons have been in jail since then.
The daughter of Rajiv Gandhi met the convicted lady prisoner in jail in Vellore in Tamil Nadu and later on pleaded that the convicted person should be released from the jail. Many wondered, the daughter of Rajiv Gandhi appeared to have forgotten that Rajiv Gandhi was not only her father but also was former Prime Minister of India. Therefore, her plea for the release of the convict was not accepted by the government.
In Tamil Nadu, from the day of murder of Rajiv Gandhi, some political parties and activists have been viewing the convicted persons as heroes and not as murderers. They have been described as heroes, since they were fighting for an independent Tamil country in Sri Lanka. 
They further seem to think that murder of Rajiv Gandhi was because Rajiv Gandhi sent Indian troops to fight against the LTTE militants. According to these politicians and activists, the murder of Rajiv Gandhi was for the cause of Tamils.
Rajiv Gandhi murderers in prison have been receiving undeserving publicity in media in Tamil Nadu and campaign has been continuously carried out that they should be released from prison, in spite of their being involved in the murder of Rajiv Gandhi.
As a matter of fact, these convicted persons in prison have been in and out of jail several times on parole due to one reason or the other. The husband and wife in prison have also come out on parole many times and the lady has delivered a girl child, who is now married and said to be living abroad.
While clamour for release of the prisoners is becoming an election issue, Tamil Nadu govt is trying to wriggle out of controversy
While some politicians and activists are demanding the release of the convicts, the fact is that family members of number of innocent persons, including policemen and public who died along with Rajiv Gandhi in explosion, have been repeatedly stating that those involved in the murder should not be released. But their voice is not much heard and not publicized in Tamil media, which is now largely run by political parties and business houses.
There is also a view that release of these convicts who were charged with very serious offense of deliberately associating themselves with the murder of the former Prime Minister of India, would set a bad signal that anyone can get away in this country even after indulging in very grave act , if they would enjoy political patronage due to one reason or other.
While the clamour for release of the prisoners is now becoming an election issue in Tamil Nadu, the state government is trying to wriggle away stating that the ball is in the court of the Central government. While the issue has been taken to the judiciary, the Supreme Court has said that the Governor of the state should take a decision within a stipulated time.
The Tamil Nadu governor is facing a dilemma. If he would decide that the prisoners should not be released, then he would become the target of criticism by some political parties and activists and even violent demonstrations may happen against him.
In this explosive situation, the reason has gone for a toss in Tamil Nadu now and the whole issue has become a subject of vote bank politics.
---
*Trustee, Nandini Voice for The Deprived

Comments

TRENDING

Top upper caste judges 'biased' towards Dalit colleagues: US Bar Association report

By Rajiv Shah  A high profile report prepared by the influential  American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights , taking note of the fact that “in the 70-year history of the Indian Republic, only six Dalit judges have been appointed to the Supreme Court”, has taken strong exception to what it calls “lack of representation of Dalits” in the legal profession and the judiciary.

Unlike other revolutionaries, Hindutva icon wrote 5 mercy petitions to British masters

By Shamsul Islam*  The Hindutva icon VD Savarkar of the RSS-BJP rulers of India submitted not one, two,or three but five mercy petitions to the British masters! Savarkarites argue: “There are no evidences to prove that Savarkar collaborated with the British for his release from jail. In fact, his appeal for release was a ruse. He was well aware of the political developments outside and wanted to be part of it. So he kept requesting for his release. But the British authorities did not trust him a bit” (YD Phadke, ‘A complex Hero’, "The Indian Expres"s, August 31, 2004)

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Whither SDG goal? India's maternal mortality rate fall target 5.5% per yr, actual 4.5%

By Srinivas Goli, Parul Puri* The maternal mortality ratio (number of maternal deaths per one lakh live births) is a key and sensitive parameter used by health policymakers to monitor maternal health conditions in particular and women's status in general in a country.

Fresh efforts to subsume Buddhism within Hindu fold 'undermining' Ambedkar

By Aviral Anand*  From Yeola in 1935, when Dr Ambedkar announced that he would not die a Hindu, to Nagpur in 1956 when he converted to Buddhism, is a considerable distance in time. But, there was in him a need to make a public announcement in 1935 about moving away from Hinduism. 

Employment loss vis-a-vis pre-Covid situation 'neutralized', claim Govt of India data

By Arup Mitra, DPS Negi, Puneet Kumar Shrivastav* The Labour Bureau, an attached office of the Ministry of Labour & Employment, has been entrusted with the task of conducting the All-India Quarterly Establishment based Employment Survey (AQEES) which has two components namely Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) in respect of establishments employing 10 or more workers (mostly constituting ‘organised’ segment) and Area Frame Establishment Survey (AFES) to build up a frame in respect of establishments employing nine or less workers.

How green revolution led to 'deterioration' of Punjab economy, land, air and water

By Dr Gian Singh*  A recent research paper, based on a survey of 320 farming families in four districts of Punjab, has tried to show that high crop densities and the use of inputs have led to degradation of land, air, water and humans through a rich agricultural structure. Although mechanization has increased agricultural productivity, it has also caused environmental degradation.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam* In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Reverse progress in fight against hunger? 15.3% of India undernourished: GHI

By Harchand Ram*  Every year October 16 is observed as World Food Day to celebrate the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. In the year 2021, the theme for World Food Day is “Our actions are our Future-Better Production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life”.