India's top court halts release of Rajiv Gandhi killers
NEW DELHI (AFP) - India's top court on Thursday blocked the release of three of former premier Rajiv Gandhi's killers after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh denounced their freeing as "contrary to all principles of justice".
They were among seven Tamil extremists who had been due to walk free from prison by this weekend after the chief minister of Tamil Nadu state on Wednesday ordered their release, sparking political uproar.
Announcing legal action against the move, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh staunchly rejected any right to freedom, saying Mr Gandhi's 1991 assassination by a suicide bomber was an attack on the nation's soul.
"The assassination of Shri (honorific) Rajiv Gandhi was an attack on the soul of India," Dr Singh said in a statement. "No government or party should be soft in our fight against terrorism," he added.