Mani Shankar Aiyar against hanging Rajiv killers

Aiyar said 139 countries had done away with capital punishment and last year 67 convicts were hanged in 22 countries but none in India.

Last Updated: Sep 03, 2011, 22:22 PM IST

Kumbakonam: Strongly arguing for
abolition of death sentence by India, Congress Rajya Sabha
member Mani Shankar Aiyar on Saturday said the three death row
convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi killing should not be hanged but
held in prison for their entire life.

Addressing a party meeting here, Aiyar said 139 countries
had done away with capital punishment and last year 67
convicts were hanged in 22 countries but none in India.

Describing the assassination of the former prime minister
as a `heinous crime and grave sin`, he said instead of being
hanged, the three -- Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan --
should be made to spend rest of their life in prison.

"If they get life sentence and are released they may kill
another chief minister or prime minister. So for the sin
committed by them, they should be ordered to be kept inside
the prison till the end of their life," he said.

Madras High Court has last week stayed the execution of the
three convicts fixed for September 9 after their mercy pleas
were rejected by President Pratibha Patil.

Speaking at the meeting of local Congress functionaries
convened to discuss about the coming local body elections,
Aiyar said youth and educated should be given an opportunity
by the party to contest in the election.

Referring to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi`s efforts to
galvanise the Youth Congress, he said youngsters including
women should take active part in politics.

PTI