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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2555

Dalit Panthers 'Clemency for Nalini' campaign rocks Tamil Nadu

From M Rama Rao - Reporting from New Delhi

New Delhi, 08 October (Asiantribune.com): Nalini, the LTTE operative, facing life term after getting death sentence in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, has stirred a new controversy in Tamil Nadu. Some interested sections have mounted a campaign for clemency for her. A plea for clemency to Nalini who is facing life term has a stirred a new controversy in Tamil NaduA plea for clemency to Nalini who is facing life term has a stirred a new controversy in Tamil Nadu

The Dalit Panthers of India (DPI) is amongst the most prominent campaigners in Nalini's cause. The party is known for Tamil nationalist leanings which is a euphemism for being pro-LTTE.

Thol Thirumavalan, the DPI supreme has made a direct appeal to Muthavel Karunanidhi, the chief minister and DMK patriarch to intervene. Speaking at a meeting in Madurai, where both shared the dais, Thirumavalan made a strong case for Nalini's clemency.

Tamils world over, the Lankan expatriates including, expect Kalingar to take up the matter with Delhi, the DPI leader and thus made the issue one of his planks in the local bodies elections.

The DPI is the new entrant to the DMK led Democratic Progressive Alliance (DPI). By virtue of its presence in DPI, which is Tamil Nadu specific, DPI has become an ally of the Congress led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

What advantage Thol Thirumavalan hopes to derive is unclear. This much is clear though. Karunanidhi has welcomed him with open arms noting that the DPI has deserted the AIADMK fold for 'honor and dignity'. And as a trade off, the DMK chief promised he would not let down brother Thiruma' Thol Thirumavalan  made a strong case for Nalini's clemency. Thol Thirumavalan made a strong case for Nalini's clemency.

Surprisingly, however, the Tamilnadu chief minister maintained 'a studied silence' on DPI plea for clemency to Nalini, reports from Madurai said. Though he showered praise on DPI in the course of his speech, he made no reference to Nalini, who along with her husband, Murugan, and their lone girl child is cooling her heels at the central jail in Vellore.

When Thol Thirumavalan spoke for Nalini, TNCC President M Krishnaswamy, S Ramadoss (PMK), N Varadarajan (Marxist Communist party's state secretary) and D Pandian (CPI state secretary) were present at the rally besides Muthavel Karunanidhi. They too like the DMK supreme did not touch upon Nalini issue. 'They neither supported the DPI demand nor opposed it.

These are early days in the 'Clemency for Nalini' campaign. It is difficult to say whether it will pick up momentum and if so when and how. But what is a certainty is that the campaign is bound to rock the Tamil Nadu political scene more with continued turmoil in Northern Sri Lanka.

-Asian Tribune –

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