Aug 26, Vellore: The three men convicted of assassinating former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi are scheduled to be executed by hanging on September 9, Indian media reported.
The three men, known as Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan were all members of Sri Lanka’s terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Murugan and Santhan are Sri Lankan Tamils and Perarivalan is an Indian Tamil.
“The three convicts are personally informed today that they will be hanged,” a lawyer representing the three men, had told the BBC Tamil service.
A female Tamil Tiger suicide bomber killed former Indian PM at a public rally in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu on May 21, 1991.
India’s Supreme Court in 1999 handed the death sentence to the three men and a fourth convict, another female LTTE member named Nalini, for their involvement in the assassination. However, the apex court commuted Nalini’s sentence to life in prison.
Recent appeals by the three convicted to commute their death sentences failed when Indian President Prathiba Patil turned down their pleas.
The lawyer for the convicted has said that the men have appealed to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa for intervention. They would soon decide on the next plan of action, the lawyer has said.
India earlier provided training for the LTTE but the assassination Rajiv Gandhi by the LTTE changed India’s attitude towards the rebels.