Nalini Sriharan returns to prison after 51-day parole
Sentenced to life term in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, Nalini Sriharan, on Sunday returned to the high security Vellore Special Prison for Women, on completion of her 51-day parole to make arrangements for her UK-based daughter Harithra’s wedding.
She is back in prison after the Madras High Court rejected her plea for extension of parole till October 15.
Under incarceration for 29 years, she is the longest serving life term convict in the country and she had secured a month-long parole by arguing in person at the High Court. She had sought six months leave. And on July 25, she stepped out of the prison for the second time. Earlier in 2016, she was granted leave for 24 hours to participate in the post-funeral rites of her father.
The High Court extended her leave for another three weeks, but declined further extension. A Bench comprising Justices MM Sundresh and RMT Teeka Raman rejected her plea for a third extension. So, she had to return to the prison.
During the 51 days of her parole, her host was Singarayar, deputy general secretary of the Dravida Iyakka Tamilar Peravai (Tamil Forum of Dravidian Movement), a pro-Tamil outfit.
Her daughter Harithra, born in prison, is being raised in the UK.
Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991, by a woman LTTE suicide bomber during an election rally at Sriperumpudur near Chennai.
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.
The other convicts who have been sentenced to life are her husband Murugan alias Sriharan, Suthenthiraraja alias Santhan, both Sri Lankan nationals, AG Perarivalan, S Jayakumar, Ravichandran and Robert Payas.