Chennai, Feb 18 IANS | 9 months ago

Expressing happiness at the Supreme Court's decision to commute the death sentence of the three assassins of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, DMK president M. Karunanidhi Tuesday urged the central and state governments to release them from jail.

In a statement issued here, Karunanidhi said taking into account the jail sentence served by the three, the central and the state governments should release them.

"If that happens, I will be doubly happy," he said.

Karunanidhi said the DMK party has been demanding abolition of death sentence for a long time.

The Supreme Court Tuesday commuted the death sentences of the three assassins of Rajiv Gandhi to life imprisonment. It held that the 11-year long delay in deciding their mercy petitions had a dehumanising effect on them.

The court said that life imprisonment would mean life in jail till end.

Gandhi was killed in May 1991. His assassins were convicted by a TADA court in January 1998 and were awarded death sentence, which was confirmed by the apex court May 11, 1999.

The three assassins - V. Sriharan alias Murugan, Arivu and T. Suthendraraja alias Santhan - sought their death sentence be commutted to life imprisonment on account of the inordinate delay of nearly 11-years in deciding their mercy petitions.

(Posted on 18-02-2014)

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