TN Govt will continue to exert pressure on Centre over release of Rajiv case convicts: Minister

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Chennai, Nov 20 (PTI) The Tamil Nadu government is consistent in its stand that the seven life convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case be released and would continue to exert pressure on the centre for it, state Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said on Friday.

Contending that there was no deviation from the stance since the times of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa, he exuded confidence Governor Banwarilal Puroit would soon take a 'good decision' on the recommendation of the state cabinet for premature release of all the seven convicts.

The state cabinet had on September 9, 2018 adopted a unanimous resolution and recommended to the Governor for the release of Murugan, Santhan, Perarivalan, Robert Payas, Jayakumar, Ravichandran and Nalini, all convicted in the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and undergoing life imprisonment.

It has been an emotive issue in Tamil Nadu and all the political parties except the Congress and BJP have been favouring early release of the convicts.

When reporters asked if the state government would take up the issue with Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday during his visit here, Jayakumar replied, 'we have been exerting pressure on the Centre and we will continue to do so.' Taking a dig at the opposition DMK on the matter, he said despite sharing power in the Centre for about 17 years, he said it had done little on the issue.

Meanwhile, on the eve of Shah's visit, some prominent film personalities took to Twitter demanding Perarivalan's release.

The hashtag 'Release Perarivalan' trended on twitter.

Actor Prakash Raj tweeted '1,000 culprits can escape but one innocent should not be punished.' Actor Vijay Sethupathi and director Karthik Subbaraj also pleaded for the release of Perarivalan.

Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by an LTTE suicide bomber on May 21, 1991 during an election rally at Sriperumbudur neare here. PTI JSP SA VS VS