Rajiv’s assassins to be hanged


NEW DELHI:  Three killers of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on death row will be hanged after their clemency petitions were rejected by Indian President Pratibha Patil, Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.

The death sentences of the three men–Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan–were confirmed by the Supreme Court in 2000.

The capital punishment of the fourth convict Nalini was however commuted to life by the Apex Court.

A Rasthrapati Bhavan(Presidential Palace) spokesperson said Thursday the clemency petitions of all the three condemned prisoners were turned down by the President last week. It is not yet known when the executions will be carried out.

The three men and Nalini belonged to Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) and were convicted of assassination of Gandhi in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu on May 21, 1991.

The three men, charged with criminal conspiracy and execution of the suicide attack plot, had filed mercy petition before the President after confirmation of sentence by the apex court.

The Home Ministry had sent its opinion on June 21, 2005 which was called back for review on February 23, 2011 and was re-submitted to the President on March 8 this year.

Earlier, in May, the President had rejected mercy petitions of Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar of Punjab and Mahendra Nath Das of Assam following the recommendations from the Union Home Ministry.

Bhullar was sentenced to death by a trial court on August 25, 2001, for plotting terror attacks on Punjab SSP Sumedh Singh Saini in 1991 and the then Youth Congress president M S Bitta in 1993. Das was found guilty of murdering  one Hara Kanta Das. – Bernama