Crime & Justice

Convicts in assassination of ex-PM of India to walk free after 30 years in jail

New Delhi, Nov 11 (EFE).- India’s top court on Friday ordered the release of six convicts in the 1991 assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi after more than 30 years in prison.

The Indian National Congress (INC), presided over for decades by the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, strongly objected to the Supreme Court decision as “unacceptable.”

The court ordered that the convicts “to be set at liberty if not required in any other matter,”

The Supreme Court said the behavior of the six convicts had been “satisfactory” during their jail term

In May, the court also ordered the release of another convict, AG Perarivalan, who was 19 when the attack took place.

Perarivalan was arrested in June 1991 for providing two nine-volt batteries used in the explosive to kill the former prime minister during an election rally in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

Gandhi and 16 others were blown in piece by a bomb concealed in a basket of flowers carried by a woman suicide attacker associated with the Tamil Tigers.

Gandhi was the leader of the opposition Congress party then.

The Congress party, also the main opposition currently, said the decision to release the remaining killers of the former prime minister was “unacceptable and erroneous.”

“The Congress party criticizes it clearly and finds it wholly untenable. It is most unfortunate that the Supreme Court has not acted in consonance with the spirit of India on this issue.”

Some 25 people were sentenced to death by a special court in 1998 for the assassination.

The Supreme Court later acquitted 19 of the but upheld the death sentences of four among the ordered to be freed on Friday.

Three others were sentenced for life.

The death sentence of a woman convict, Nalini, was commuted to life in 2000 by the Tamil Nadu government.

In 2014, the Supreme Court commuted the death sentence of three other to life in jail. EFE


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