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Santhan, convict acquitted in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, passes away in Chennai

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Chennai (Tamil Nadu) | February 28, 2024 11:26:19 AM IST
Santhan, one of the seven released convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, passed away at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai, said hospital officials on Wednesday.

Santhan, a Sri Lankan national, was released from the central prison at Vellore along with five other convicts in November 2022 following the Supreme Court's decision after spending over 32 years in prison.

The assassins of Rajiv were set free by the top court on the grounds of having good conduct in jail.

Last week, the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) under the Union Ministry of External Affairs provided an emergency travel document for Santhan, enabling his return to Sri Lanka.

The former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a woman suicide bomber named Dhanu at a poll rally in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, on the night of May 21, 1991. The blast killed at least 13 people, and over 40 were injured. (ANI)

The seven convicts, including Nalini Sriharan, RP Ravichandran, Jayakumar, Santhan, Murugan, Robert Payas, and AG Perarivalan were sentenced to death for their role in the killing. However, Santhan, along with five other convicts - Nalini Sriharan, Sriharan, Robert Payas, Jayakumar and Ravichandran - were released from different jails, after spending more than 32 years of incarceration.

In the year 2000, Nalini Sriharan's sentence was reduced to a life term. Later in the year 2014, the sentence of the other six convicts was also reduced, and during the same year, the then chief minister of Tamil Nadu, J Jayalalitha recommended the release of all seven convicts in the case. (ANI)

 
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