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Sunday, 19 January 2003  
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Rajiv's assassins follow computer classes

Three people who were given the death penalty for their role in the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi are taking computer lessons from a university named after his mother, a report said Saturday.

Murugan, Perivalan and Nalini were sentenced to death in 1998 for aiding and abetting Gandhi's murder in the Southern State of Tamil Nadu in May 1991. A female suicide bomber from Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers killed Gandhi.

Nalini's death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment after the intervention of Gandhi's Italian-born widow, Sonia. The other two have mercy petitions with the president pending since April 2000.

A report in the Hindustan Times newspaper said Murugan and Perivalan had enrolled for undergraduate courses in computer applications, while Nalini had joined the master's degree classes. The three, who are in a Tamil Nadu jail, have correspondence classes organised by an open university named after former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Rajiv's mother. The report said Nalini keeps Sonia Gandhi informed about her academic progress and had received congratulatory notes from the Congress party leader.

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