CHENNAI: Political party leaders in Tamil Nadu on Thursday welcomed a Supreme Court order asking the Governor to decide on the mercy petition of AG Perarivalan, serving life term for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
DMK President M.K. Stalin, welcoming the apex court's decision, said Chief Minister K. Palaniswami should immediately call a cabinet meeting and decide to release the seven convicts now in jail in the Gandhi assassination case.
In a post in his Facebook account, Stalin said the late former Chief Minister and DMK President M. Karunanidhi had been saying that the state had the powers to free the convicts.
Former Union Health Minister and PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss said the central government should not go on appeal against the apex court decision.
He urged the Tamil Nadu government to take immediate steps to implement the apex court order.
Ramadoss said Chief Minister Palaniswami should call a cabinet meeting and pass a resolution to release all the convicts in the Gandhi assassination case and send it to Governor Banwarilal Purohit.
The President of Manithaneya Makkal Katchi, M.H. Jawahirullah, also urged Palaniswami to pass a resolution in a cabinet meeting recommending the release of the convicts.
The seven convicts are V. Sriharan alais Murugan, T. Suthendraraja alais Santhan, Perarivalan, Jayakumar, Robert Payas, Ravichandran and Nalini Sriharan, wife of Sriharan alias Murugan.
All seven have been in prison since 1991, the year a woman Tamil Tiger suicide bomber blew up former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi at an election rally near Chennai.