Those who were incarcerated for ‘good behavior’ and were released because they had served 30 years in prison.
The last conspirator, who was jailed in 1991 for the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, has been released from prison a day after the country’s Supreme Court ordered it.
A female suicide bomber killed Gandhi, 46, at an election rally in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, a plot by the Sri Lankan Armed Separatist Group (LTTE).
India’s apex court released the six inmates, citing their “satisfactory conduct” in jail and the fact that they had been behind bars for more than 30 years.
Of these six, three, Nalini Sriharan; Her husbands Murugan and Santhan were released from two prisons in Vellore, 140 kilometers (87 miles) from the regional capital Chennai, on Saturday, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.
“A new life with my husband and daughter. Thank you Tamils for supporting me for over 30 years. I thank the state and central governments,” Sriharan told NDTV after her release.
Others were Robert Pais; Jaikumar and Ravichandran were released from prisons in the same state in Chennai and Madurai, local media said.
Three of the six released on Saturday were initially on death row before their sentences were commuted.
His mother and predecessor Indira Gandhi became India’s youngest prime minister after her bodyguards assassinated her in 1984.
The Gandhi dynasty leads the Congress party, which has dominated Indian politics for decades, Rajiv’s widow Sonia remains the organisation’s most powerful figure, and their son Rahul, 52, is seen as the main challenger to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Last month, the party elected 80-year-old former minister Malikarjun Kharge as its first president in 24 years in an attempt to reverse its electoral decline.
Rajiv’s killing was seen as a response to his move in 1987 to send Indian troops to Sri Lanka to disarm Tamil rebels. India lost more than 1,000 men fighting the powerful rebels before withdrawing its troops.
The Congress party condemned the court’s decision as “totally unacceptable” and “totally wrong”.
“It is most unfortunate that the Supreme Court has not come to terms with the spirit of India on this matter,” tweeted senior party member Jairam Ramesh’s statement.
India has its own significant Tamil population, and Tamil Nadu state governments have repeatedly called for the release of convicts.
Earlier this year, after the court acquitted AG Perarivalan, another accused involved in the assassination, state Chief Minister MK Stalin hugged and hugged.
For years, Gandhi’s son spoke about how he and his sister Priyanka forgave their father’s killers.
“We are very upset and hurt and have been upset for years,” the Indian Express newspaper quoted Rahul as saying in 2018. But later they forgave them. “Absolutely,” he said.