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TN will secede if Rajiv Gandhi assassins are hanged: Vaiko

Aug 24, 2011 2:58:26 PM - www.ft.lk

Chennai: Vaiko, general secretary, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) and a popular Tamil politician has warned the Union government that Tamil Nadu would soon secede from the Union of India.
“If Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan, the accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case are executed as per the court order, it will jeopardise Indian unity. When the 100th anniversary of the Independence Day will be celebrated on 2047, Tamil Nadu would not be a part of India,” thundered Vaiko while addressing a meeting held late on Monday night to express solidarity with those sentenced to death in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

The meeting which was addressed by leaders of various Tamil chauvinist outfits asked Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa to take steps to save the lives of Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan, the three Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) activists whose clemency petition was rejected by President Pratibha Patil earlier this month.
Vaiko said it was possible for Jayalalithaa to save the three LTTE convicts invoking sections 161 and 72 of the Indian Constitution. Though the government of India had fixed 5 October, 1999 as the day for hanging the three as per the Supreme Court verdict, it was postponed because of the clemency petition filed by them.
The speakers vied with one another to spit venom on India as well as the Constitution. While P. Maniarasan, TDPK, wanted the Indian government to remove the Ashok Chakra from the national flag and replace the same with a hanging rope, Pavendan, another sympathiser of the LTTE called for the ‘eradication of the Indian Constitution’.
Vaiko was imprisoned for more than one year in 2003 by the then Jayalalithaa government for delivering pro-LTTE speeches and entertaining sympathisers of the outfit which is banned in India.
The speeches come immediately after one of the intelligence officials told DNA that some of the Tamil groups based in the state were trying to inculcate anti-national feelings among the common man by circulating copies of hate speeches and half truths.
With the President rejecting their clemency petition in early August, the stage is set for the hanging of the three LTTE activists. Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on 21 May, 1991 by Dhanu, an LTTE suicide bomber during an election campaign meeting at Sriperumbudur, a Chennai suburb. The Special Investigation Team under the then CBI DIG Radha Vinod Raju had arrested 26 persons in connection with the assassination. While a TADA (Terrorists and Disruptive Activities Act ) Special Court sentenced all the accused to death, the Supreme Court on appeal modified the judgment. While the apex court ratified the death sentence of four accused, the remaining 22 were given prison terms. But Nalini, one of the accused who was awarded death penalty escaped from the hangman’s noose when Sonia Gandhi came to power and commuted the death sentence to life imprisonment. (DNA)