“There are 39 Muslim prisoners languishing for more than 20 years in different jails across the state. All these have reformed and are waiting to lead a dignified life. Even their families are expecting their release, but the DMK government which claims to champion the rights of minorities have permanently shut the doors for Muslim prisoners,” VMS Mustafa, founder-president, Tamil Nadu Muslim League, told DT Next.
Chief Minister MK Stalin announced in the Assembly on September 13 that 700 prisoners serving life-term would be released on the birth anniversary of former Chief Minister CN Annadurai. Based on the announcement, a GO was issued mentioning that prisoners involved in communal clashes would not be eligible for premature release.
The GO has come as a disappointment for Muslim parties in the state as they were hoping for the release of all the prisoners, who had served prison term for more than 20 years. Even the Muslims in alliance with the DMK have expressed displeasure at the GO.
“Most Muslims, who were eagerly awaiting the release of prisoners were now disappointed. The GO also raises the doubts whether the same set of criteria would be applicable for Rajiv convicts too,” said MH Jawahirullah, president, Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam.