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Death of Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Case Convict Santhan in Chennai Hospital

Santhan, also known as T Suthendiraraja, a Sri Lankan national and one of the six convicts released in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, passed away on Wednesday morning at the Rajiv Gandhi Government Hospital (RGGH) in Chennai.

Released by the Indian Supreme Court in November 2022, Santhan had been housed at a special camp near the Tiruchirapalli Central Prison. Despite a recent order from the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in Chennai to deport him to Sri Lanka, he was admitted to RGGH for treatment related to a kidney ailment.

E Thenirajan, the Dean of RGGH, addressed the situation, stating that Santhan was admitted to the hospital on January 27, following the directions of the Tiruchirapalli district collector. A team of doctors treated him in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), where he was diagnosed with cryptogenic cirrhosis, a liver disease.

“He suffered a setback to his health yesterday (Tuesday) night. He had lost consciousness, and we were providing treatment. Around 4.30 am today (Wednesday), he suffered a cardiac arrest. He was revived following a CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) procedure and was on ventilator support. However, he failed to respond to further treatment and passed away at 7.50 am,” explained Thenirajan.

Post-mortem procedures will be conducted, and measures will be taken to repatriate his body to Sri Lanka.

According to court documents, Santhan is believed to have fled Sri Lanka in 1991 amid strife and reached India by boat, accompanied by Sivarasan, the leader of the assassination team who was never captured alive, and others. The Supreme Court had ruled that Santhan played a direct and active role in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.

Initially sentenced to death, his punishment was later commuted to life imprisonment. After spending over three decades in prison, Santhan, along with five other convicts, was released in November 2022. Source: The Indian Express

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