September 6th, 2011
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200 Congress workers arrested

200 congress workers arrested at chennaiChennai: About 200 Congress workers were arrested today morning when they staged a road blockade agitation in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue at the Marina beach front demanding execution of the death penalty to three convicts in the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

Police sources said several Congress workers, including party North Chennai district secretary Royapuram Mano and those belonging to the Youth Congress wing blocked traffic at the arterial road this morning. Police rushed to the spot and pacified them to disperse. When they refused, police took them into custody. As the news spread, more and Congress workers rushed to the spot and courted arrest.

Traffic on the busy road was affected following the agitation. In a brief chat with newsmen today before boarding a police vehicle, State Youth Congress President M Yuvaraja demanded the arrest of those who were supporting clemency to the three Rajiv convicts. Without taking names, Yuvaraja said some anti-national forces, with the help from abroad, were openly pledging their support for the Rajiv killers.

‘The government should not allow such acts and identity them and punish them’, he added. Noting that the President had already rejected the clemency pleas of the trio, Yuvaraja pointed out the commutation of the death sentence of the key accused Nalini, who was also given capital punishment in the case.

While leaders of various political parties including the ruling AIADMK, DMK, MDMK, PMK and the VCK appealed to the Centre to grant pardon and commute the death sentence of three Rajiv convicts to life, Congress party leaders had been vociferous in their demand on execution of the death penalty.

The execution, which was earier fixed for 9 September after the President rejected the mercy pleas of V Sriharan alias Murugan, T Suthendraraja alias Santhan and A G Perarivalan alias Arivu, was stayed by the Madras High Court on 30 August for eight weeks. Leaders cutting across party lines appealed to Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa to exercise her powers under Article 161 and recommend commutation of their death sentence.

Jayalalithaa moved a resolution in the Assembly urging President Pratibha Patil to commute the death sentences of three convicts.


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