Convicted Rajiv Gandhi assassin Nalini Sriharan, who is serving a life sentence in the Vellore Central Jail, has accused prison authorities of keeping her in isolation in violation of norms laid down in the prison manual.
"Prison manual rules regarding rights of prisoners are being violated by jail authorities in the Vellore Central Prison while dealing with Nalini," P Pugalenthi, her counsel in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, told PTI after visiting her in the jail on Saturday.
According to Pugalenthi, Nalini has been prevented from communicating with the outside world and even her lawyer.
Reading out form the three-page complaint made by her to the IG of Prisons requesting to be shifted to Puzhal jail, Pugalenthi said, "All the prisoners have been prevented from moving around near my cell. Neither the prison staff nor the
prisoners are allowed to talk to me. I am being treated like a person with contagious disease."
According to him, Nalini had sent more than eight complaints against the prison administration alleging that jail officials are stifling the voice of prisoners who too have fundamental rights guaranteed under the Indian Constitution.
"In response to these complaints the Superintendent of Prisons, Vellore has on June 9 issued her a notice charging that Nalini attempted to hand over copies of her complaint to her advocate," Pugalenthi said.
Pugalenthi said the jail authorities forcibly prevented her from giving him copies of her complaint. The notice warned
that prison administration was contemplating action against Nalini.
"Except legal recourse, a prisoner has no other remedy to redress their grievances. The action of prison officials
to prevent a prisoner from handing over copy of their representation to their counsel, is a serious breach of fundamental rights. She gave us a copy of her complaint letter secretly," Pugalenthi said.
In her complaint against the jail officials, Nalini has contrasted the behaviour of the prison officials with that of
Priyanka Gandhi, who "made me sit beside her, touched me, gave me water to drink and made a prisoner like me feel as a human being."