Let centre decide on Rajiv killers' release, says Rahul Gandhi

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today said that it is for the union government to decide what stand to take on Tamil Nadu's move to free the killers of his father, former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

''The government has to decide,'' Rahul said even as the Congress party said it will oppose the Tamil Nadu government's decision to remit the sentence of life imprisonment of all seven convicts and release them.

Rahul said as a son, he would not voice his personal opinion on the issue.

Congress' Mallikarjun Kharge said the Tamil Nadu government's letter to the Centre demanding that Rajiv Gandhi's killers be released shouldn't be entertained.

''They should not be released,'' Kharge said.

Earlier, the Congress had moved adjournment motions in both houses of parliament against the Tamil Nadu government's decision.

''We will discuss it when matter comes to house,'' Kharge had said earlier.

While announcing the decision, the J Jayalalithaa government had said that it has sought the Centre's views on the move.

In a letter to Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, Tamil Nadu chief secretary K Gnanadesikan said the state government had received petitions from the seven convicts requesting to release them as they had spent more than 20 years in prison.

The convicts are V Sriharan (alias Murugan), T Suthendraraja (alias Santhan), AG Perarivalan (alias Arivu), Jayakumar, Robert Payas, Ravichandran and Nalini.

"Nalini has also filed a writ plea in the Madras High Court requesting the government of Tamil Nadu to release her," he said.

"The government of Tamil Nadu, after taking into consideration the petitions of the seven convicts, has decided to remit the sentences of life imprisonment and to release the seven persons since all of them have already served imprisonment for 24 years," he said.

Out of the seven convicts, V Sriharan, T Suthendraraja, Jayakumar and Robert Payas are Sri Lankans.