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What sense does freeing Rajiv Gandhi's killers make to the common Indian?

In May 1991, Rajiv Gandhi was at a campaign rally in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu. He always preferred to walk amongst the crowd and did not allow too many security guards around him. As a mass leader this was his way to interact with his supporters.

Was this his fault for which he was punished so brutally? The female suicide bomber came to touch his feet. Least did the leader suspected, that the next moment, he would be blown to pieces!

Members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were suspected for this brutal killing that took 17 other lives. In this case 18 suspects were set free, three among them; Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan were sentenced to death. Other four were given life imprisonment.

The death convicts pleaded for mercy to the President of India in 2001. There was an inordinate delay in hearing their mercy petition. The Supreme Court then commuted their death sentence into life imprisonment.

A day after the Supreme Court's judgement, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha announced that she is going to set free the Rajiv Gandhi's killers. This shocked the entire nation. How can a state government take such a decision? This violates the provisions of the Constitution.

The Central Government challenged the state government's decision in the Supreme Court. The Apex Court has put a stay on the release of the convicts.

This decision of the Tamil Nadu government was taken only to play dirty politics in the state at the time of the elections for Lok Sabha is taking place. It has nothing to do with any sympathy for the prisoners.

Congress leader and Rajiv Gandhi's son, Rahul Gandhi said that he was saddened by the state government's decision. "If a Prime Minister's killers are being released, what kind of justice should the common man expect?"

The common man feels that when Indira Gandhi was assassinated, her killers were hanged to death, then why this kind of treatment is being given to Rajiv Gandhi's killers?

Rajiv Gandhi's death had shamed the country. His body was split into pieces and had to be surgically put together for the last rituals. If such a brutal act is exempted from punishment, what image we will carry to the world?

If Prime Minister's killers are released, how can one expect punishment for a general people? Where will the common man go to seek justice?

What if other state governments also start violating Supreme Court's judgements citing Tamil Nadu as example? These issues is of grave concern and should be dealt with seriously.

Decisions taken for political interests cannot be in national interest. Such narrow regionalism should never be encouraged and should be opposed unanimously.

Anwesha Bandopadhyay

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