CHENNAI: Just as pressure is mounting on Governor Banwarilal Purohit to order release of seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case as per the recommendation made by the State Cabinet, there are dissenting voices from a few leaders as well as the family of those who were killed in the blast along with former Prime Minister at Sriperumbudur 27 years ago.
The Forum For Those Who Made Ultimate Sacrifice on 21 May, 1991, comprising the family members of those who were killed, have sought an appointment with the Governor to represent their case and to urge him not to give his assent to the release of convicts.
S Abbas, son of S Samdhani Begum, who was killed in the incident, and also the coordinator of the forum said that the family of those affected would certainly oppose the release. He recalled that his mother was South Chennai Mahila Congress leader and when she was killed, he was just eight-year-old and he already had lost his father too.
“Have these politicians who are seeking the release of these convicts ever called on the families of those affected? All those killed in the blast were middle-class families and they have been undergoing untold miseries. A wrong notion is being spread that people of Tamil Nadu are for releasing these convicts. The fact is otherwise. Most of the people are against it. Only politicians are saying so,” Abbas asserts.
D Rajkumar, son of J Dharman, a constable who was killed, says that politicians were demanding the release of these convicts only to gain political mileage. “Even now, they seek their release only by creating sympathy that they had undergone 28 years of imprisonment and not on the basis that these convicts had no connection with the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.” M Mohan, son of ‘League’ Munusamy, who was killed in the blast, said.
“The family members of these convicts are meeting every other political leader to release them. On the other hand, have they ever tendered an apology to the families of those who were killed in the blast ? How can we accept the release of these convicts.”
John Joseph, brother of Edward Joseph, an Inspector who died in the blast, feels that the demand for release is a political stunt. “As many as 11 police officers and others were killed. Nobody bothered about their families. While children of these convicts are studying in London, children of victims faced many
problems,” he said