[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

Release of more Rajiv killers blocked

Top court halts move to free four killers of ex-prime minister, a week after release of three was blocked.

Last updated: 27 Feb 2014 08:22
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Rajiv Gandhi was killed by a suicide bomber during an election campaign in 1991 [EPA]

India's top court has halted the freeing of four more killers of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi after a political uproar over a state government's plan to release them.

The Supreme Court in New Delhi on Thursday issued a temporary restraining order against releasing the four who are serving life in jail over Gandhi's assassination in 1991 by a female suicide bomber.

Spotlight
Follow our special India coverage

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last week rejected the Tamil Nadu state chief minister's move to set seven conspirators, including the four, free, saying it was against all principles of justice as the murder was "an attack on the soul of India".

The court last week blocked the release of three of the men convicted of plotting the assassination, after Singh's comments and his government's urgent legal action against the move.

Examining issues

Chief Justice P Sathasivam issued the new order on Thursday, after hearing the government's arguments against releasing the other four, saying he needed time to examine the issues.

"There are two questions before us. The first is which is the correct government to decide on remission for these convicts and the second is whether the right procedure is being followed," Sathasivam told the court.

Gandhi, whose widow Sonia is now president of the ruling Congress party, was targeted by the Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers while he was campaigning in the southern state in May 1991 before an election.

His killing was seen as a retaliation for a 1987 Indian government pact with Sri Lanka to disarm the Tamil fighters. India later withdrew its troops deployed to the island after losing 1,200 soldiers at the hands of the rebels.

Critics have said Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's surprise decision was motivated by a desire to woo ethnic Tamil voters in her southern state for her regional party at the general elections due by the end of May.

333

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
Marginalised and jobless, desperate young men in Nairobi slums provide fertile ground for al-Shabab.
The Khmer Rouge tribunal is set to hear genocide charges for targeting ethnic Vietnamese and Cham Muslims.
join our mailing list