World

Indian court frees killer of ex-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi

May 19, 2022 5:59 pm

Former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi [Source: Getty Images]

India’s top court on Wednesday granted the release of a man convicted of killing former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, 31 years after his imprisonment.

The Supreme Court invoked extraordinary powers to release A. G. Perarivalan, his attorney told CNN.

Perarivalan was arrested a few weeks after Gandhi was assassinated in a suicide bomb attack on May 21, 1991, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

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The attack was blamed on separatist rebels fighting for a Tamil state in Sri Lanka. Gandhi’s killing was seen as retaliation for his decision to send Indian troops into Sri Lanka in 1987 to enforce a peace accord to end the island nation’s civil war.

Perarivalan, who was 19 years old at the time of the attack, was accused of buying batteries for the bomb. He was convicted of criminal conspiracy to commit murder, among other charges, court documents show.

He was sentenced to death in 1998 alongside six others, but his sentence was reduced to life imprisonment in 2014.