New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee has rejected the mercy pleas of four associates of the infamous forest brigand Veerappan. The four accused whose mercy pleas have been rejected are Gnanprakasham, Simon, Meesekar Madaiah and Bilavendran.
A Mysore court had awarded life term to the four associates of Veerappan for their involvement in the killing of 21 policemen in a landmine blast at Palar in Karnataka in 1993. 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 have been pending since 2004.
Earlier, Pranab Mukherjee had rejected the mercy pleas of 26/11 convict Ajmal Kasab and 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. Kasab, a Pakistani terrorist, was hanged in Pune's Yerwada Jail on November 21, 2012; Guru's death sentence and execution had led to war of words between the government and the opposition.
Guru, a resident of Sopore in Kashmir, was finally hanged on February 9, 2013 inside Delhi's Tihar Jail and his body buried in the premises.
Following Guru's execution the opposition blamed that UPA government of using Guru's execution as a political tool.