Rajiv killers to hang on Sept 9

Rajiv killers to hang on Sept 9

The date of hanging was finalised by the Superintendent of the Vellore Central Prison, where the three men are housed, and communicated to the three prisoners on Friday, after the authorities formally received the communication of President Pratibha Patil rejecting the mercy pleas of the men. Copies of the President’s communication were individually given to all the prisoners and they accepted it calmly, the sources said.

“All the three under lock-up will be hanged before sunrise on Sept 9,” the sources said.
A top police official in Vellore district said security has been tightened around the Central prison as a precautionary measure and additional men posted .

Lawyers of the three convicts are also busy finalising an urgent review petition seeking to stay their execution.

There was a flurry of activity in the High Court campus with a section of lawyers and Law College students staging protests and fasts against the death sentence to Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan. Human-chain protests were also organised in different parts of Tamil Nadu on Friday.

On August 11, the President rejected the mercy petitions of all the three prisoners, who have been in jail for nearly 20 years now since their arrest soon after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991.

Outside Vellore and elsewhere in the state including Chennai, the entire spectrum of political parties, barring the Congress, have mounted a massive effort to stop the execution of all the three prisoners on the plea that they had already spent 20 years in jail and that death penalty by itself was obnoxious.

DMK leader M Karunanidhi, MDMK general secretary Vaiko, Dravidar Kazhagam chief K Veeramani, PMK leader Dr S Ramadoss, state leaders of the CPI and CPM, Tamil Nationalist Movement leader P Nedumaran, “Naam Thamizhar” leader and film-director Seeman, and a host of parties have been unanimous in their pleas for commuting the death penalty of all the three convicts to life term, just as it was done in the case of Nalini, another convict serving a life-term in this case.

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