Nalini, Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convict, seeks extension of parole
Currently on a month-long parole granted by the Madras High Court, Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convict, Nalini Sriharan, has appealed to the Tamil Nadu government to extend her leave so that she can complete the arrangements for her daughter’s wedding.
“In a petition to the Tamil Nadu Home Secretary and the DIG, Prisons, Vellore Range, she had sought to extend her parole by one more month. She is awaiting their response,” Nalini’s lawyer, P Pugalenthi said.
Nalini, who is in prison for 28 years, and her husband, Sriharan Murugan, also a life convict in the case, are both Sri Lankan nationals.
Acting on a petition by Nalini, the Madras High Court had granted her ‘ordinary leave’ of 30 days and she walked out of the Vellore Special Prison for Women on July 25, on completing the necessary formalities. She is staying in Vellore city at the residence of Singarayar, a functionary of a pro-Tamil outfit, Dravida Iyakka Tamilar Peravai. Nalini was due to return to the prison on August 25.
“She had come out on parole to make arrangements for the marriage of her daughter Harithra, pursuing studies in the United Kingdom. A large part of her parole being in the Tamil month of ‘Aadi’ when no auspicious matter, especially marriage, is taken up has put Nalini at a disadvantage. Hence, to complete the arrangements including fixing the groom, she had pleaded for an extension for a month,” Pugalenthi explained.
After coming out on parole, Nalini had met Murugan at the Vellore Prison for men. And she is said to have discussed the initial preparations for their daughter, who was born in jail during their incarceration.
On the possible groom, the advocate said a few have been shortlisted and they are expatriate Sri Lankan Tamils settled in the UK. But, he declined to give their profile.
He further said that Harithra’s arrival in Tamil Nadu was getting delayed, and that was also a reason for Nalini requesting for extension. “She had applied for a Visa. And the process is taking time,” he added.
While granting her parole, the High Court had imposed certain conditions on Nalini and they included abstaining from meeting political leaders and the media and signing daily at the register in the local police station. However, the Court had directed the state government to bear the escort expenditure.
Now, apart from the family members and close relatives of Nalini and Murugan, only Pugalenthi has access to her.
Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991, by a woman LTTE suicide bomber during an election rally at Sriperumbudur near Chennai. Besides Nalini and Murugan, others convicted for life in the case are Suthenthira Raja alias Santhan, AG Perarivalan, Robert Payas, Jayakumar and Ravichandran.
The Tamil Nadu government, in September 2018, had recommended to Governor Banwarilal Purohit to release Nalini and the six other convicts, whose death sentence was commuted to life, in tune with the Supreme Court verdict. The governor is yet to decide on the cabinet resolution.