A day after the Supreme Court dismissed the pleas opposing release of convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, relatives of victims, who had also died in the suicide bomber attack, said that they were confident that Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit will not release the convicts.
Chennai: The relative of a victim and a survivor of the 1991 suicide bomber attack, which killed former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, on Thursday, said they are confident Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit will not release the seven life convicts in the assassination case.
However, parties, including the DMK, and relatives of the convicts demanded their immediate release. The Congress in Tamil Nadu said there should be no pressure on the Governor over the issue.
Hours after the Supreme Court dismissed their plea objecting to the state government's 2014 decision recommending the release of the seven convicts, they exuded confidence that justice will be done.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, "All aspects were covered in the earlier constitution bench verdict in the case and therefore nothing survives in the case."
S Abbas, coordinator of the families of victims and the petitioner in the case in the apex court, said the judgment saddened him. "We are consulting on aspects like possibility of preferring an appeal. We will take appropriate steps," he said.
Abbas, who is the son of Samdhani Begum, a Mahila Congress leader who was among those killed in the attack, said he and members of families of other victims were confident that Purohit will not release the convicts.
"If at all they are going to be released eyeing vote bank politics, it will be tantamount to supporting terrorism and will be injustice," he told. He said people like him belong to marginalised sections of the society and hail from a very ordinary family.
"Despite difficulties, we went to the level of Supreme Court to stop their release, what else can we do...if they are going to be released what can we do..? We pin our hope on God," he said.
Retired police officer Anusuya Daisy Ernest, a survivor of the attack, said the judgment saddened her, adding she and the victims' kin were contemplating on what could be done next. "I believe in God. We are confident the Governor will do justice for the victims, their families, survivors and all those who were affected by the terror attack that fateful day in 1991," Anusuya, who was a police sub-inspector then, said. "We trust the governor will not release them," she added.
Arputhammal, mother of Perarivalan, one of the convicts, said she was confident that the governor will release all the convicts and welcomed the judgment.
Last year when she visited Purohit seeking the release of convicts, Arputhammal said, "Governor told me that he will release the convicts. I have waited for eight months, and now after this judgment there is a conducive ambience for their release."
Tamil Nadu deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam told reporters in Madurai that the government has already taken all steps for their release, including apprising the Centre over the decision to set them free.
PMK founder S Ramadoss said the release of convicts should not be delayed any more.
Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a suicide bomber in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu on May 21, 1991.
The AIADMK government had in September 2018 recommended to the governor to release all seven life convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
(With inputs from PTI)
Last Updated 2:27 PM IST