NEW DELHI, March 3 (Xinhua) — India’s main opposition Congress party’s second-in-command and Nehru-Gandhi scion Rahul Gandhi Thursday said that the country’s government has to decide on whether to release from jail the killers of his father and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
“The ball is in the central government’s court. The government has to decide,” Gandhi said in the wake of the government of the southern state of Tamil Nadu’s decision to release all seven convicts in the case, who are currently serving life terms in a jail there.
The Tamil Nadu government has recently written to the central government for their release and the Congress party has already said it would oppose the decision to release their former leader’s killers from jail.
“They should not be released,” Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge told the media on the issue of Rajiv Gandhi’s killers release.
The seven convicted killers — V Sriharan, T Suthendraraja, AG Perarivalan, Jayakumar, Robert Payas, Ravichandran and Nalini — have already spent over 24 years in jail and they have petitioned the High Court in state capital Chennai as well as the Tamil Nadu government for their release.
Rajiv Gandhi, who became youngest Prime Minister after her mother Indira Gandhi’s assassination, was killed by suicide bombers of erstwhile Sri Lanka-based Tamil Tigers at a public meeting in May 1991 at Sriperumbudur, a village some 40 km from Chennai.