Statement of Shri Ajay Maken, General Secretary, AICC

Statement of Shri Ajay Maken, General Secretary, AICC

The Congress Party condemns the decision of the Tamil Nadu cabinet to release the seven convicts charged of the assassination of former Prime Minster Shri Rajiv Gandhi and 17 other individuals by executing a barbaric and gruesome terrorist bombing act. It would by all means only serve as a precedent for other Chief Ministers/ constitutional functionaries to take decisions beyond the law- decisions that are politically motivated and irresponsible.

The Supreme Court commented/ pronounced its decision on commutation and not on remission/ release yesterday. While the Supreme Court yesterday had only commuted the death sentences of three convicts- the remaining four serving life terms- this decision of the Tamil Nadu Government, which is guided solely by political considerations to suit sectarian vested interests is not only condemnable but is also against the very basic spirit of rule of law and natural justice.

By doing so the Government of Tamil Nadu has not only denied basic justice to the families of all those who lost their dear ones in the ghastly attack carried out by the convicted assassins but has also shaken the faith of every law abiding, peace loving and patriotic Indian who believes in the rule of law. It raises grave questions against our collective national resolve to fight and defeat terrorism of any kind.

We believe that those who assassinated our former Prime Minister, Shri Rajiv Gandhi should not be given any relief. This was the position of the Attorney General. Now the court has rendered a decision. We must naturally abide by it. We may or may not agree with it but we must abide by it. It should not be forgotten that while confirming the death sentence of the said convicts, the Supreme court had it self described the crime committed by them as ‘rarest of the rare’, and had very justifiably convicted them.

The BJP was baying for the blood of Afzal Guru and we are surprised that when it comes to other assassins, they don’t even utter a word. It would be in the propriety of things that the BJP elucidates its view on the issue has something to answer to.

The nation cannot forget, that when ‘release’ is talked about, the nation lost its Prime Minister, 17 other individuals- many of whom were tamilians, the nation lost them to terrorism and therefore we condemn irrevocably such irresponsible statements and decision by a constitutional functionary.