Mercy pleas of four Veerappan associates rejected by President

Veerapan

The mercy pleas of sandalwood smuggler Veerapan's four associates, sentenced to death in a 1993 landmine blast case, have been rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee, a human rights activist said on Wednesday.

"The family members received information from Belgaum prison authorities that the mercy petitions of the four have been rejected by the President," Balamurugan, also General Secretary of People's Union for Civil Liberties, Tamil Nadu, said.

He said the families of the four death row convicts, lodged in Belgaum jail, had informed him about the President's decision, which comes days after rejection of the mercy plea and hanging of Afzal Guru in the Parliament attack case.

Gnanaprakash, Simon, 'Meesai' Madaian and Pilavendran were sentenced to death by the Supreme Court in 2004 in connection with the landmine blast at Palar in Karnataka in 1993, carried out by the Veerappan gang, in which 22 police personnel were killed.

They were earlier sentenced to life by the TADA court in Mysore. But the government moved the Supreme Court, which awarded them the death sentence.

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