The assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, the former Prime Minister of India, took place on May 21, 1991, in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu. The attack was carried out by a suicide bomber belonging to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a Sri Lankan militant organization that was fighting for an independent Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka.
The suicide bomber, Dhanu, detonated a bomb hidden in her belt as she approached Rajiv Gandhi to garland him at a public meeting. The blast killed 18 others, including several police officers, and injured over 40 people.
Following the assassination, investigations were carried out by various agencies, including the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), and it was found that the LTTE was responsible for the attack. Several people were arrested and charged in connection with the assassination, including the LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.
However, in 1999, a peace process began between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE, and as part of the peace negotiations, the LTTE demanded the release of its members who were held in Indian prisons. In 2000, the Indian government released 14 LTTE members, including those who were accused of involvement in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination, as a goodwill gesture towards the peace process.
The decision to release the accused LTTE members was controversial and widely criticized by many, including the family members of Rajiv Gandhi. Some argued that the release of the accused went against the principles of justice and accountability, while others believed that it was necessary to make concessions for the sake of peace.
In conclusion, the killers of Rajiv Gandhi were members of the LTTE, a militant organization fighting for an independent Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka. They were released along with other LTTE members as part of a peace negotiation process between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE.