Chennai: DMK chief M Karunanidhi on Friday appealed to Congress President Sonia Gandhi to intervene and save the lives of three death row convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, saying appeals by Tamils across the world needed to be considered in the spirit of ‘forget and forgive’.
In a statement on Friday night, he said, “Congress which is heading the central government and its leader Sonia Gandhi should come forward to save the three lives.”
Noting that only a few days were left for taking a decision on the issue, he said both the Centre and the Tamil Nadu governments should take all efforts and commute the death sentence of Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan, whose clemency petitions were rejected by President Pratibha Patil recently.
“There is an emergent need for us to take all possibles efforts to save their lives on humanitarian ground and (in) the spirit of forget and forgive,” he said.
This was necessary in view of “appeals made by Tamils the world over” and also considering the fact that the three had already spent 20 years in prison, he added.
Earlier in the day, the three convicts appealed to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to intervene in the matter amid reports that Vellore prison authorities have fixed 9 September for their execution.
Leaders of various political parties, including Vaiko of MDMK and Thol Tirumavalavan of VCK, have appealed for commuting the death sentence of the three.