Friday, June 2, 2023

Dichotomy of crime

May 21, 2022, will mark the 31st anniversary of a shocking and well-executed grotesque killing that snuffed out the life of an Indian leader believed to be on a comeback trail to power. On May 18, A.G.Perarivalan was released by the Supreme Court, the first among the seven incarcerated in jail for their role in the killing of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. Perarivalan was awarded death sentence in 1998 but later in 2014, it was commuted to life imprisonment. The release of Perarivalan also indicates that all the remaining six killers will be released. The three-judge bench of the Supreme Court invoked a section of the Indian constitution that grants it extraordinary powers “for doing complete justice in any cause” to release Perarivalan since he has already served over 27 years in prison. Perarivalan in 1991 had just completed a diploma in electronics and communications and was an active supporter of the LTTE. He purchased two 9-volt batteries, which were used in the bomb in the 1991 assassination. The court battle which had been raging on had the Tamils and their politicians playing appeasement politics by openly demanding the release of all the convicted killers. The BJP has been consistently rejecting appeals to release them. The Court judgment was greeted with jubilation by the Tamil people and their political parties such as AIADMK including DMK, an ally of the Congress. However, the Congress leaders said they felt cheated. Congress only has to blame itself for playing opportunistic politics. First it aligned with Jayalalitha and AIADMK in 1991 but the latter backstabbed the Congress in subsequent years. It then aligned with the DMK, an unabashed supporter of the LTTE. Then prime minister Chandrashekar dismissed the DMK government on January 30,1991 under pressure from Congress and AIDMK for blatant LTTE activities. The DMK had come to power in 1989. By 2004 the Congress aligned with the DMK and shared power under the UPA-Itill UPA-II. The Congress was in power at the Centre from June 1991 to May 1996 and again headed the UPA-I in 2004-09 and UPA-II in 2009-14. During these years, the Congress could have made clear that justice and law should be upheld but it dared not displease the DMK for political reasons. By not going against DMK, the Congress exhibited an finity of running with the hare and hunting with the hounds. It is a fact that all the convicts have served close to 27 years as part of their sentence. The convicts deserve to escape life imprisonment and death sentence, if viewed through humanitarian lens. However, it must not be noted that the bigger picture of upholding the law should not be forgotten because India has a different stand on issues of terrorism on the international platform. If the killers of a former Indian prime minister by those who are either members of sympathisers of the LTTE, can be viewed from a humanitarian angle, then India may as well forget about demanding the extradition of Pakistani terrorist Hafeez Saeed for plotting the Mumbai terror attacks. Therefore, once all the Rajiv killers are released on humanitarian grounds, then India’s stand against terrorism will get diluted. Even Pakistan could use this argument in favour of Hafeez Saeed. The issue is whether the law has to be upheld under any circumstances or circumvented? Singapore upholds death penalty for drug smuggling even in the face of world pressure to release and pardon convicted drug pedlars.


Wrestling maniac

Scorching months ahead

Savagery in Delhi

Don't Miss