August 30th, 2011
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“I don’t have the power to commute the death sentence”: Jayalalithaa

JayalalithaaChennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa on Monday said she does not have the power to commute the death sentence of the three convicts in former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination case.

‘I don’t have the power to commute the death sentence of the three convicts. They should appeal to the president again,’ Jayalalithaa said in the state assembly.She said the chief minister cannot do anything after the president rejects the mercy petition.

Referring to the suicide of NGO worker Senkodi, who on Sunday set herself afire to press for the commutation of the death sentences of the three convicts, Jayalalithaa appealed to the people not to resort to such acts.

On August 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. The three are to be hanged September 9. A woman suicide bomber blew herself up killing Gandhi, who was prime minister of India from 1984 to 1989, at an election rally in Sriperumbudur near Chennai May 21, 1991. Leaders of various political parties, including Congress ally DMK, have demanded that the death sentences be overturned.


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