New Delhi: The four associates of infamous forest brigand Veerappan have moved the Supreme Court against death penalty. Veerappan's elder brother Gnanaprakash, Simon, Meesekar Madaiah and Bilavendran were awarded death sentence in 2004 in connection with a landmine blast at Palar in Karnataka in 1993 in which 22 police personnel were killed. Recently, President Pranab Mukherjee had rejected their mercy pleas.
Their execution was reportedly scheduled for Sunday morning. Sources say that one of the judges of the Supreme Court is expected to hear the matter at his residence in an hour or so, as the apex court is not sitting today.
A Mysore court had awarded life term to the four associates of Veerappan for their involvement in the landmine blast. But the Karnataka government appealed against the life term and filed a petition in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court awarded them the death sentence in January 2004. Their mercy pleas had been pending since 2004.
The four are presently lodged in a jail in Belgaum in Karnataka. Gang leader Veerappan was killed in an encounter with the Tamil Nadu police in October 2004.
With additional information from PTI