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Human rights activists and tribal association have urged the State government to release the brother of slain forest brigand Veerappan and two of his associates who were in the Coimbatore Central Prison for the last 33 years.

People’s Union for Civil Liberties, People’s Watch, Tamil Nadu Tribal People Association and Sogo Trust jointly sent a letter to Chief Minister M.K. Stalin in which they stated that Veerappan’s brother Madhaiyan and two others, Andiyappan and Perumal, were behind the bars for 33 years now. It had caused hardship not only to the three, but also to their family members. “It is totally against the State government’s rehabilitation measure,” the letter said.

The letter stated that the Tamil Nadu Prison Department issued orders for the premature release of a few prisoners. But non-consideration of premature release of a few prisoners showed the prevalence of discrimination. “It is against the law and human rights,” the letter said. Section 433A of The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, said that remission or commutation of sentence could be taken up only after a lifetime convict served 14 years of imprisonment. Hence, based on various court orders, the release of the three should be taken up for consideration.

The letter said Madhaiyan had moved the Supreme Court seeking premature release and the court in its order on October 3, 2017 asked the State government to consider his petition. “But no decision was taken by the State government so far.” All the three were aged over 75 years and many of their family members were no more. At least, they should spend the rest of their lives with their remaining family members, the letter requested.

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