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President rejects mercy petition of Rajiv’s killers

New Delhi: President Pratibha Patil has rejected the mercy petition of three men sentenced to death for the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, an official said Thursday.

“The president rejected the mercy petition last week,” a Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson told IANS. The petitioners were Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan, all linked to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The three along with an Indian woman, Nalini, were sentenced to death in 1999 for the assassination of Gandhi in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu on May 21, 1991.

The Supreme Court had confirmed the death sentences of Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan but commuted Nalini’s sentence to life imprisonment.

Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan were charged with criminal conspiracy and execution of the suicide attack that killed Gandhi. Soon after the confirmation of their sentence, they petitioned the president.

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