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Another seven mercy petitions sent to President Pranab Mukherjee for decision

Another seven mercy petitions sent to President Pranab Mukherjee for decision
New Delhi President Pranab Mukherjee has rejected seven mercy petitions in his seven months in office so far.

Now, the Home Ministry has sent him another seven death row cases for consideration. One of them involves a man who was granted bail in a rape case and killed five members of the victim's family.

The new set of petitions asks for clemency involving nine people. (Read: Mercy petition section removed from President's website)

Yesterday, the president rejected the mercy petitions of four members of sandalwood smuggler Veerappan's gang. They were given the death sentence by the Supreme Court for a landmine blast in Karnataka in 1993 in which 22 policemen were killed.

Earlier this month, Kashmiri Afzal Guru was hanged and buried at Delhi's Tihar Jail after the president rejected a petition filed by his wife requesting that his sentence be commuted to life in prison.

In November, Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab, convicted for 2008's terror strikes in Mumbai was hanged.

Various human rights groups have criticised India for the executions. After Afzal Guru was hanged on February 9 Meenakshi Ganguly, the South Asia director of Human Rights Watch, said it "opposes the death penalty in all circumstances as an inherently irreversible, inhumane punishment."

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