Up in arms

The Congress seethed at the Supreme Court decision to free Nalini Sriharan and five other convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and said it disagreed with Sonia Gandhi, who had pleaded for their release from prison.The Congress said it would seek legal remedy. Sonia Gandhi, above all, is entitled to her personal views. But with greatest respect, party doesn’t agree and has made our view clear. In this case, the Congress’ views are the same as that of the central government. The party does not agree with Sonia Gandhi’s view, has never agreed with that view, and has made this view clear for years, said Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi.Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination was not like any other crime. This is a national issue, not a local murder.Nalini Sriharan approached the Supreme Court when in May, it used special powers to free one of the convicts, AG Perarivalan. All seven convicts in the case have spent more than 30 years in prison. Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991, at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu, by a woman suicide bomber of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) group.Seven convicts were sentenced to death for their role in the killing. In 2000, Nalini Sriharan’s sentence was reduced to a life term on the intervention of Sonia Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi’s wife and former Congress president. Sonia Gandhi had filed a clemency petition that pointed out that Nalini was pregnant when she was arrested.