Woman torches herself to save Rajiv killersAugust 28th, 2011 - 10:50 pm ICT by IANS
Chennai, Aug 28 (IANS) The campaign to seek commutation of the death sentences of three convicts in former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination turned tragic Sunday with a woman setting herself afire to allegedly press for the demand, according to a letter recovered from her.
Senkodi, 27, died on her way to hospital after her self-immolation outside a government office in Kanchipuram, police said.
Speaking to IANS. a police official in Kanchipuram said Senkodi immolated herself around 5.45 p.m. and investigations are on to ascertain the reason for her to commit the act.
Police said members of Makkal Mandram have said Senkodi is a member of their organisation.
A letter purported to be written by Senkodi has been obtained by police in which she had requested cancellation of the death sentence of Santhan, Perarivalan and Murugan - set to be hanged Sep 9.
Senkodi, in her letter, also urged Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa to intervene in the matter.
On Aug 11, President Pratibha Patil rejected the mercy petitions of Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan - all linked to LTTE and sentenced to death for involvement in the 1991 assassination.
Leaders of various political parties, including Congress ally DMK, have demanded that the death sentences be overturned.
A woman suicide bomber blew herself up killing Gandhi, prime minister of India from 1984 to 1989, at an election rally in Sriperumbudur near Chennai May 21, 1991.
In 1998, all the 26 accused in the case - including the three - were sentenced to die by a special trial court for Gandhi’s killing.
In 1999, the Supreme Court confirmed the death sentences of four: Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan and Nalini, an Indian woman who had assisted the killer squad. The capital punishment of the others was reduced to varying terms of imprisonment.
The death sentence of Nalini, who became a mother in prison, was commuted to life imprisonment after her mercy petition was accepted. The petition had the recommendation of Sonia Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi’s widow.
Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan and the others were charged with criminal conspiracy that led to the killing.
Soon after the confirmation of their sentence, they made a mercy plea to the Indian president, which was rejected.
- President rejects mercy petition of Gandhi killers - Aug 11, 2011
- Rajiv Gandhi killers move court for stay of hanging - Aug 29, 2011
- President rejects mercy petition of Rajiv killers (Lead) - Aug 11, 2011
- Can't commute death sentences of Rajiv killers: Jayalalithaa - Aug 29, 2011
- Rajiv Gandhi assassination: three to hang Sep 9 (Lead) - Aug 26, 2011
- Rajiv killers move high court; Karunanidhi backs plea (Night Lead) - Aug 30, 2011
- Tamil Nadu Congress chief wants Rajiv killers hanged - Aug 27, 2011
- Rajiv Gandhi killing convict couple meet in Vellore jail - Sep 10, 2011
- Rajiv killer Nalini's 'A' class prison facilities restored - Mar 15, 2012
- Court pleas, threats, protests to save Rajiv's killers (Lead) - Aug 29, 2011
- Spare my son, don't hang him, pleads father - Aug 29, 2011
- 1,000 Youth Congress activists to fast against Tamil Nadu assembly resolution - Sep 05, 2011
- Gandhi accused Nalini breaks down - Sep 07, 2011
- Rajiv Gandhi killer's mother demands fresh trial - Aug 13, 2011
- Apex court takes over Rajiv assassins' mercy plea - May 01, 2012
Tags: chief minister, death sentence, death sentences, election rally, former prime minister, government office, indian woman, j jayalalithaa, life imprisonment, ltte, mercy petition, mercy petitions, police official, president pratibha patil, prime minister of india, rajiv gandhi, rajiv killers, self immolation, sriperumbudur, woman suicide bomber