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7 convicts in former Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi's assassination case to be freed

English.news.cn   2014-02-19 14:29:24

NEW DELHI, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- Three assassins of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, along with four of their associates involved in the case, will be set free soon, the Chief Minister of the southern state of Tamil Nadu, J. Jayalalithaa, announced Wednesday.

"The cabinet has taken a decision to release the three convicts, Perarivalan, Murugan and Santhan, along with those four, Nalini, Robert Pyas, Jayakumar and Ravichandran, who are undergoing life sentence," Jayalalithaa told the state assembly.

She added: "The decision will be conveyed to the central government for appropriate action. If we don't get their response in three days, we will release all convicts in accordance with the rights granted under Indian Constitution."

The state government's decision came a day after India's Supreme Court commuted the death sentences of Perarivalan, Murugan and Santhan to life imprisonment, citing an inordinate delay by Indian President to dispose off their clemency petitions.

The court had also said that the Tamil Nadu government could release the trio.

Gandhi was assassinated in 1991 when he on was on his way to address a political rally at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu. It was carried out by Thenmozhi Rajaratnam, also known as Dhanu.

The attack was plotted by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a now defunct separatist organization from Sri Lanka opposed to India's involvement, through the Indian Peace Keeping Force, in the island nation.

Editor: Liu Dan
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