Prez Pranab Mukherjee has rejected the four Veerappan associates’ mercy pleas. Those whose mercy pleas have been rejected are Gnanprakasham, Simon, Meesekar Madaiah and Bilavendran.
Earlier, a Mysore court had sentenced the four to a life term each for killing of 21 policemen in a landmine blast in Karnataka in 1993. But the government had filed an appeal in the Supreme Court and upon review, it awarded them the death sentence in January 2004. Their mercy pleas had been pending since 2004.
Notably, the Prez had earlier rejected the mercy pleas of Ajmal Kasab and Afzal Guru. While Kasab, a Pakistani terrorist, was hanged at Yerwada Jail, Pune on November 21 last year, Guru's execution had led to a war of words between the government and the opposition over its politicization. Guru was finally hanged on February 9 in Delhi's Tihar Jail and his body buried there only.