DMK rewards Islamists

via The Pioneer Edit Desk published on September 17, 2009

Coimbatore bombers walk free

The Tamil Nadu Government’s release of nine dreaded terrorists, who were responsible for the 1998 Coimbatore serial bombings that killed 58 people, to mark the conclusion of the birth centenary celebrations of DMK founder and former State Chief Minister CN Annadurai deserves to be condemned without exception. Amazingly the convicted terrorists were released on grounds of ‘compassion’ and ‘good behaviour’. The DMK-led State Government has tried to deflect criticism by asserting that the convicts released had already served out around 10 years of their 13-year sentences. Nonetheless, that is hardly the point. Those that have been released are no ordinary convicts. They are hardened jihadis who were members of the banned terrorist organisation Al-Umma. Had the State Government released petty thieves serving minor sentences, it could have been given the benefit of doubt. But to release convicted terrorists who remorselessly killed so many innocent civilians is unpardonable. Besides, showing ‘compassion’ for a terrorist is not only ridiculous but also sets a dangerous precedent. Tomorrow someone might want the butcher of Mumbai, Ajmal Amir Kasab, to be released on grounds of ‘compassion’. His lawyer could argue that since a State Government saw fit to release those involved in the Coimbatore terror bombings, Kasab too is eligible for similar treatment. Will we then be inclined to set Kasab free? The thought itself is nightmarish.

The fact of the matter is that the release of the nine terrorists is a clear case of populist, vote-bank politics on the part of the DMK-led Tamil Nadu Government. Last year it had released as many as 1,400 convicts, including those serving life-terms, to mark the beginning of Annadurai’s birth centenary celebrations. One can only imagine how many repeat offenders, murderers, rapists and dacoits were released in that act of ‘compassion’. It goes without saying that these people and their sympathisers will be more than willing to show their support for the DMK irrespective of whether the party would like to admit it or not. Such a brand of politics is not only a threat to society at large but also a betrayal of the people’s trust in the Government of the day. When the electorate votes a party or a coalition to power it expects it to ensure the safety and security of the people, not release hardcore criminals, least of all terrorists. It is because the Tamil Nadu Government has done precisely the opposite that it can no longer claim to be governing in the best interests of the people of the State. It is hoped that electorate will see through the DMK’s true designs and teach it a fitting lesson. For the sake of the country such politics cannot be allowed to continue without opposition.

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