Erode (Tamil Nadu): Demanding abolition of capital punishment, the CPI today said the four aides of sandalwood smuggler Veerappan who are on death row should be released as they have been in jail for 20 years.
The Union Government should abolish capital punishment immediately for which proper modifications should be made in law, CPI National Secretary D Raja told reporters here, adding that death penalty "is not a remedy for grave crimes. Such offenders should be sentenced to life."
Asked about the President`s rejection of the mercy petitions of the four aides of Veerappan, he demanded that government release them as they have already served more than 20 years` imprisonment.
Attacking the Union Government on the VVIP helicopter deal, Raja wanted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take responsibility for the alleged scam and provide detailed reply in Parliament in the next session.
He was participating in a meeting for demanding proper ex-gratia to victims of alleged excesses by Special Task Force personnel during operations to hunt down Veerappan.
Raja said the state government should grant adequate relief to the victims.
He also criticised the latest hike in prices of petrol and diesel, which, he said, will certainly push up prices of all commodities.