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Distressed over Murugan's fate, daughter in hospital

The daughter of Murugan, sentenced to death for the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, has had to be hospitalised in Scotland because of dehydration brought on by distress at his impending execution, Tamil sources said on Tuesday. Dipankar De Sarkar reports.

world Updated: Aug 30, 2011 23:38 IST
Dipankar De Sarkar

The daughter of Murugan, sentenced to death for the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, has had to be hospitalised in Scotland because of dehydration brought on by distress at his impending execution, Tamil sources said on Tuesday.

Haritha Murugan, who lives in Scotland, has been unable to eat or drink properly for several days, the sources said.

"She is so upset. She had to be taken hospital," they added. They couldn't say if she had been released.

On Saturday, she issued a moving appeal for mercy through the BBC Tamil Service, saying it was for parents' sake "that I work so hard to study. Their life is not in their hands. I only have the small belief that my life at least would make them happy.

"…They frequently write letters to me and I write back to them. If I do not see their letter, I would feel lost."

Others who spoke to Haritha on the telephone on Tuesday morning said she sounded alternately relieved and distraught after the Madras high court stayed her father's execution for eight weeks. "She was oscillating -happy at one moment, then sober, then crying," they said.

They were unable to get through to her later on in the day.

The stay order gives 19-year-old Haritha the chance to visit her father and mother Nalini, both of whom were convicted. She said last week that she has applied for a visa to see her parents in India.

Haritha, who is studying biomedical sciences in Britain, was told she would hear back from the Indian High Commission in 15 days. Indian diplomats said they were not aware that she had applied for a visa.

Haritha, who was born in Vellore prison, was taken to Sri Lanka after her parents were convicted in 1998. Since then, she has met them only once -when she was 12.