Rajiv assassination case convicts to be set free

Chennai, Feb 19: The convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case would be freed, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa said Wednesday.

Announcing the government’s decision in the assembly, Jayalalithaa said the government would release V.Sriharan alias Murugan, A.G. Perarivalan alias Arivu, T. Suthendraraja alias Santhan, Nalini, Robert Payas, Jayakumar and Ravichandran.

All the seven are convicts in the former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

The Supreme Court Tuesday commuted the death sentence to Murugan, Perarivalan, and Santhan citing the inordinate delay in deciding their mercy petitions.

The decision was taken in the cabinet meeting held Wednesday.

She said the state government’s decision will be sent to the centre. If it does not respond within three days, the state government would release all the seven convicts.

Gandhi was killed in May 1991. The conspirators were convicted by a TADA court in January 1998 and were awarded death sentence, which was confirmed by the apex court May 11, 1999.

IANS