(FILES) In this photograph taken on May 24, 1991, the funeral procession for slain Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi moves along a crowded street in New Delhi. AFP PHOTO/Douglas E. CURRAN/FILES
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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 against all principles of justice.Announcing legal action against the move, Singh staunchly rejected any right to freedom, saying Gandhi's 1991 assassination by a female suicide bomber was an attack on the nation's soul.The bench headed by Chief Justice P. Sathasivam said although Tamil Nadu in the country's south had the right to release the prisoners, it was concerned about "procedural lapses".The court said the Congress-led national government could file a fresh petition for the remaining four who are serving life sentences, although it was unclear if this could halt their release by the weekend.Rajiv Gandhi, whose widow Sonia is now president of Singh's Congress party, was targeted by Tamil Tiger separatists while he was campaigning in the southern state in May 1991 before an election.Rajiv became India's youngest-ever leader after his mother, prime minister Indira Gandhi, was assassinated in October 1984 .
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