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Rajiv Gandhi assassins to be hanged on Sept 9

Last Updated: Saturday, August 27, 2011 - 09:08

Chennai: The three men facing death penalty for the 1991 assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi will be hanged on September 9 at Tamil Nadu`s Vellore prison, a jail official said on Friday.

Prison Superintendent R Arivudainambi on Friday afternoon received the official communication to carry out the execution of Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan.

"We have informed the convicts about the date of hanging. The execution will be (carried out) September 9 early morning," Arivudainambi said.

He said the movement of the convicts inside the prison will be restricted from now on.

"If they want any books from the library, they will be provided inside their cells but they won`t be allowed to visit the library," he said.

Family members will still be allowed to meet them, he added.

On August 11, President Pratibha Patil rejected the mercy petition of the three men who were linked to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which ordered Gandhi`s killing.

A woman suicide bomber blew up Gandhi, who was prime minister of India from 1984 to 1989, at an election rally in Sri Perumbudur near Chennai on May 21, 1991.

In 1998, all 26 accused in the case - including the three - were sentenced to die by a special trial court.

In 1999, the Supreme Court confirmed the death sentences of four: Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan and Nalini, an Indian woman who had assisted the killer squad.

The capital punishment of the others was reduced to varying terms of imprisonment.

The death sentence of Nalini, who married Murugan and became a mother in prison, was commuted to life imprisonment after her mercy petition was accepted.

The petition had the recommendation of Sonia Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi`s widow.

Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan and the others were charged with criminal conspiracy that led to Gandhi`s killing. They then petitioned the Indian president.

Meanwhile, more and more people in Tamil Nadu are demanding that the three should not be hanged.

PMK founder S Ramadoss urged Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa to save the three from the gallows.

MDMK general secretary Vaiko has made a similar appeal to Jayalalithaa.

On Friday, Puthiya Tamizhagam leader K. Krishnasamy walked out of the state assembly after the speaker did not allow him to raise the issue.


First Published: Saturday, August 27, 2011 - 09:08
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