HANGING IN THE BALANCE
The fate of India’s most high-profile death row convicts
RAJIV GANDHI’S ASSASSINS
MAY 21, 1991 Murugan, 44, LTTE operative who planned and executed the strike with Sivarasan.
Santhan, 45, member of Murugan’s squad.
Perarivalan, 43, LTTE sympathiser who helped make the bomb used to kill Rajiv. Sentenced to death in 1998, their mercy pleas were rejected by President Pratibha Patil in 2011. On February 18, the Supreme Court (SC)commuted their sentence to in jail, and the next day, J. Jayalalithaa ordered their freedom. On February 20, SC stayed their release on the Centre’s petition and listed the next hearing for March 6.
PARLIAMENT HOUSE ATTACK
DECEMBER 13, 2001
Afzal Guru, 43, surrendered JKLF militant who conspired to attack parliament. In August 2005, SC confirmed the death penalty awarded to him in 2002. He was hanged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail on February 9, 2013, six days after the President rejected his clemency petition.
BEANT SINGH’S ASSASSINATION
AUGUST31, 1995 Balwant Singh Rajoana, 46, Babbar Khalsa International member was the back-up suicide bomber in the plot to kill the then Punjab chief minister. The only accused to voluntarily confess in court. Sentenced to death by a CBI court in 2007, herefusedtoappealtheconviction.His execution was scheduled for March 31, 2012 but it was stayed by the Centre following a proxy mercy plea from SGPC.
YOUTH CONGRESS OFFICE BOMBING
SEPTEMBER 11, 1993 Devinderpal Bhullar, 48, former Khalistan Liberation Force militant convicted of the attack on then Youth Congress chief Maninderjit Singh Bitta. SC dismissed appeal against his death penalty in 2006 and the President rejected his mercy plea in May 2011. But on January 31, SC stayed his execution on grounds of his “poor mental health” and “in ordinate delay” in execution. The Centre has since informed SC that Bhullar won’t be hanged. Thecourt will now hear the case on March 10.