In what came as a shocking decision for many, Jayalalitha, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu proclaimed the freedom of the convicts involved in the heinous assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi- a decision which triggered a political mayhem and infuriated the Congress as well as other parties across the nation.
Questioning the soundness of the decision Arun Jaitley the BJP leader quipped “The latest case of relief to the assassins of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is unconscionable”. V Narayanaswamy, the Senior Congress leader and Minister of State stated, “The decision (of Tamil Nadu government) is shocking, unacceptable and embarrassing and hence they should reconsider it,” dwelling on the fact that it would bear a negative impact on the integrity of the nation if the crime of the assassins were overlooked and they were released.
The decision came soon after the Supreme Court decreed on diminishing the assassins’ capital punishment to a life term to which the CM of Tamil Nadu asserted by banging on the desks that the convicts should be freed whatever might be the final reply of the Center to the Cabinet. The minister’s behavior raised eyebrows as to the validity of her decision pointing to the claim being a strategy to manipulate Karunanidhi’s approach to win over nationalist votes of the state and to present her government as strongly against the Congress party politics.
Whether or not the decision will be approved by the Center is something which we have to wait and watch out for, but the release of the prisoners will put a blemish on the country’s legal system which by its apparent abolitionist policy of putting off death sentences will seek to encourage terroristic overtures and giving a blind eye to the common people’s woes.
As remarked by the present Congress and BJP leaders such an act of attenuation of retribution for assassins of a revered Prime Minister is an issue which hurts the security of the nation while pointing at the state’s negligence in understanding that it is not only the matter of a leader’s death but a decision which makes common people of the country insecure. If the assassins of a leader are allowed to go unpunished where will common people get their assurance from of obtaining justice for such brutal cases of crime inflicted on them?
A decision as grave as this cannot be taken merely on the basis of the delays as depicted by the Center to act on the mercy petitions, and definitely not the decision of freeing them as proposed by our Honorable Tamil Nadu Chief Minister. As rightly mentioned by Jaitley on his blog post, “Terrorism is an offence against the Country. It must attract a deterrent punishment”, so there cannot be any justification to freeing perpetrators of such heinous crimes.