NTK leader Seeman 'justifies' Rajiv Gandhi's killing

Last Updated 14 October 2019, 12:18 IST

Naam Tamizhar Katchi founder leader Seeman has kicked up a row by "justifying" former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, triggering sharp reactions from Tamil Nadu Congress leaders who demanded he be booked for sedition.

The actor-politician made the remarks at a campaign meeting in the by-poll bound Vikravandi assembly constituency recently and on Monday he remained defiant, indicating he stood by the controversial comments.

Based on a complaint from a local Congress functionary who alleged the remarks were against national integration, police in Vikravandi said a case had been registered against Seeman on Monday.

In the election rally speech, a video of which has gone viral now, Seeman justified the assassination of Gandhi, who was killed by an LTTE suicide bomber on May 21, 1991 at nearby Sriperumbudur.

A staunch supporter of slain LTTE supremo V Prabhakaran, he also criticised the former prime minister for sending the Indian Peacekeeping Force (IPKF) to Sri Lanka in the 1980s.

State Congress President K S Alagiri and party's Lok Sabha MP Su Thirunavukkarasar lashed out at Seeman and demanded action against him. Alagiri strongly condemned Seeman for "justifying" Gandhi's killing and said the latter through his remarks has supported a terror attack.

In a statement, Alagiri said Gandhi had strived for the welfare of the Sri Lankan Tamils and struggled to ensure their rights. He demanded that Seeman be booked for sedition and urged the Election Commission to cancel his party's recognition.

The Congress later filed a complaint with the EC.

Thirunavukkarasar urged the Union Home Ministry to act against Seeman. "The state police should take action against Seeman to uphold law and order...or the Union Home Ministry should take action," he told reporters here. Gandhi "lives in the hearts of millions of people... demeaning him is not acceptable," the MP added.

Seeman, however, seemed unfazed by the Congress leaders' attack and strongly batted for the release of seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. Speaking to reporters here, Seeman stood by his remarks and slammed both the Congress and DMK for the deaths of Tamil civilians during the peak of the war against LTTE in Sri Lanka in 2009.

The Congress-led UPA was in power at the Centre then while the late M Karunanidhi-led DMK was ruling in Tamil Nadu. Tamil nationalist parties have often accused the UPA of tacitly helping Colombo in its war against the outlawed LTTE, which saw heavy Tamil civilian casualties. The Sri Lankan Tamils issue has an emotional connotation in Tamil Nadu.

(Published 14 October 2019, 12:09 IST)

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