A number of political leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, paid tribute to former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on the occasion of his 31st death anniversary on Saturday.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi remembered his father as a “compassionate man” who taught him and his sister Priyanka the “value of forgiveness and compassion”. Rahul went on social media and wrote, “My father was a visionary leader whose policies helped shape modern India. He was a compassionate and kind man and a wonderful father to me and to Priyanka, who taught us the value of forgiveness and compassion. I miss him so much and I remember the time we spent together. “
Other senior Congress leaders, including Priyanka Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Sachin Pilot and P Chidambaram, paid their respects to Rajiv Gandhi at Bir Bhumi in Delhi this morning. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took to Twitter to pay tribute to Rajiv Gandhi.
On May 21, 1991, Rajiv Gandhi was killed by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) suicide bomber Dhanu / Thenmojhi Rajarathinaman during a political campaign in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu. At least 16 people, including Rajiv Gandhi, were killed in a suicide bombing. In the same year, Gandhi received the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest posthumous civilian award.
A few days ago, the Supreme Court ordered the release of AG Perarivalan, who is serving a life sentence and had been in jail for more than 30 years for the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. Perarivalan, who was 19 years old at the time of Gandhi’s assassination, was accused of buying a battery used in the assassination of his associates and Gandhi.
Earlier in March this year, the Supreme Court granted bail to Perarivalan, who was arrested by the CBI in 1991, a month after Gandhi’s death. The SC verdict has now paved the way for the release of six other accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.