Three death row convicts whose mercy petitions in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case were rejected by President Pratibha Patil earlier this month will be hanged on September 9, even as pro-Tamil groups have mounted a last-ditch campaign to save them.
The Vellore prison authorities have begun preparations to carry out the capital punishment for killing the former Prime Minister in 1991.
The trio — AG Perarivalan, Murugan and Santhan — has been informed of the presidential order rejecting their clemency petitions and the date of the execution.
Jail superintendent R Arivudainambi said the visits of their family members would be disallowed from now.
Perarivalan, the only Indian among the three (the others are Sri Lankans), has been pleading he was convicted on the basis of wrong evidence. His mother is also doing all she can to save him from the gallows.
Pro-Tamil organisations have been demanding the commutation of their death sentence to life imprisonment and launched a signature campaign to bring pressure on the government. MDMK leader Vaiko has been in the forefront on this issue.
Lawyer K Pugazhenthi said the Supreme Court would be approached for a review. The People’s Union for Civil Liberties has submitted a memorandum to chief minister J Jayalalithaa, requesting her intervention.