Rajiv assassination case convicts Murugan, Nalini on indefinite hunger strike
Murugan has been on protest since Sunday, against alleged harassment being faced by him in prison while his wife, Nalini as a show of solidarity is said to have joined him against the vexations.Updated: Oct 26, 2019, 18:40 IST
Murugan alias Sriharan and his wife Nalini Sriharan, both serving life terms in connection with former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, have launched an indefinite hunger strike to protest harassments in a prison in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore.
Murugan has been on the protest since Sunday in the Vellore Central Prison. In a show of solidarity, his wife Nalini started her fast in Vellore Women’s Special Prison on Saturday, according to sources.
Their lawyer P Pugazhendhi said Murugan wrote a letter to Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) on Saturday to inform him about the harassments he has been facing in the jail.
“The prisons department had conducted a mobile raid in Vellore Prison on October 18. According to Murugan’s letter to the CM, prison officials locked Murugan’s cell for the whole day. The prison officials are not giving a proper reason. It remains locked till now,” Pugazhendhi said.
“Hence, Murugan was catapulted to launch a hunger strike against these vexations on October 20. Further, he sent a letter to the Tamil Nadu CM to let him know about the nuisances which he has been facing in prison,” he added.
Pugazhendhi also said that when Nalini came to knowabout her husband’s condition she decided to observe hunger strike.
Madras High Court had allowed Nalini to go on month-long parole to make arrangements for her daughter’s wedding in July this year.
Nalini returned to the high-security Vellore Special Prison for Women after completing her 51-day parole after the high court rejected her plea for another extension of parole till October 15.
Murugan had also applied for parole last month but the prisons department rejected his plea.
Several attempts by HT to contact the deputy inspector general of police (DIG) of the prisons department went futile.
Besides Nalini and Murugan, five others—Suthenthira Raja alias Santhan, AG Perarivalan, Robert Payas, Jayakumar and Ravichandran—were convicted for life in the case.
Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991, by a woman suicide bomber of the LTTE during an election rally at Sriperumpudur near Chennai.
The Tamil Nadu cabinet had passed a resolution in support of the release of these seven convicts and is pending before the Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit. Reports have said the governor is not in favour of the premature release of these seven convicts.