The Supreme Court of India has ordered the release of six convicts convicted in the murder of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
According to the French news agency AFP, Rajiv Gandhi was 46 years old when a woman attacked Rajiv Gandhi during an election campaign in 1991.
The Sri Lankan separatist organization Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was involved in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.
In its verdict, the Supreme Court has said that the convicts are being released because of ‘good behaviour’ in jail and have spent more than three decades in jail.
Three of the six convicts were sentenced to death before their sentences were commuted, the last convicts still in prison in the trial. There were two convicts who were already on parole and out of prison.
Talking to CCN News 18, Nalini Shriharan said, “I am very happy.” I am grateful to everyone. The last 32 years were spent in struggle and difficulty.
Nalini Shriharan and her husband were also sentenced to death, but their sentences were commuted in 2000.
After the assassination of Indira Gandhi by a Sikh bodyguard in 1984, Rajiv Gandhi became the Prime Minister of India.
The Congress Party has been one of the leading political parties in India for decades. Rajiv Gandhi’s widow Sonia Gandhi remains a powerful figure in the Congress, while her son Rahul Gandhi is seen as an opponent of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In 1987, India sent troops to disarm Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka and the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi was seen as a response.
India later recalled its troops from Sri Lanka. More than 1,000 Indian soldiers were killed in the fighting with the Tamil rebels.
In India, the release of convicted criminals has been a topic of debate. The Congress termed the court’s decision as “totally unacceptable and wrong”.
The Tamil Nadu state government had demanded the release of the convicts.
In 2018, Rajiv Gandhi’s son Rahul Gandhi said that he and his sister Priyanka Gandhi had forgiven their father’s killers.