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‘SC has hurt sentiments’: Chhattisgarh CM on pre-mature release of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassins

Janjgir-Champa (Chhattisgarh): Congress leader Bhupesh Baghel Saturday reacted to the Supreme Court’s verdict allowing pre-mature release to the assassins of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on the grounds of good behaviour.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Baghel said the apex court has hurt the sentiments of not just the people of Congress but the nation. He said, “The convicts were released before time. Congress national spokesperson Jairam Ramesh also gave a statement upon it should not have happened.”

Meanwhile, Congress MP K C Venugopal raised questions over the Centre for keeping mum on the release.

“There shouldn’t be any sympathy with terrorists. Modi government’s reprehensible silence on the release of the culprits of Rajivji’s assassins is a compromise with the terrorist act. And those who applaud the release of those terrorists are, indeed, indirectly emboldening them,” Congress MP K C Venugopal tweeted.

The assassins of Rajiv Gandhi, who were serving life sentence terms, were set free by the top court on Friday on the grounds of having good conduct in jail.

Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991, at Sriperumbudur Tamil Nadu by a woman suicide bomber of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) group during a public rally.

The seven convicts were sentenced to death for their role in the killing. Their names included Nalini Sriharan, RP Ravichandran, Jayakumar, Santhan, Murugan, Robert Payas, and AG Perarivalan.

In the year 2000, Nalini Sriharan’s sentence was reduced to a life term. Later in the year 2014, the sentence of the other six convicts was also reduced, and during the same year, the then chief minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalitha recommended the release of all the seven convicts in the case.

In May this year, one of the seven convicts, AG Perarivalan was released after spending 31 years in jail.

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