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Home > India > News > Report

Rajiv Gandhi assassination: Nalini hopes for an early release

May 21, 2008 11:13 IST

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Nalini, who is serving a life term in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case in the Vellore Central Jail, is pinning her hopes on an early release from prison, even as Congressmen paid floral tributes to the late leader on the 17th anniversary of his death on Wednesday.

Nalini was initially sentenced to death but her death penalty was later commuted to life imprisonment due to the intervention of Congress president Sonia Gandhi [Images]. The convict has already moved the Madras High court, with a plea for early release.

She has filed a petition in the high court to set her at liberty, after her hopes for an early release on account of her good conduct while being in prison, were dashed.

The High Court has asked the Tamil Nadu government to reply to her plea and the case is likely to come up for hearing after vacation in next month, when she would get a clear picture on the fate of her case.

Senior counsel S Duraisamy, who represents Nalini, is confident of her release. ''Things have changed now and in all probability, she should be out by September. I do not think the government will oppose her release,'' he said.

Nalini hit the headlines last month when Priyanka Vadra, the daughter of Rajiv Gandhi, called on her in the Vellore Prison on March 19, where she is serving a life term, on a highly secretive mission.

What transpired between the two is yet to come to the fore, but Duraisamy could guess only two things. It could be a goodwill mission by Vadra to convey to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which was allegedly behind the assassination, that it should no more have any hatred towards the Rajiv Gandhi family.

Vadra could have also wanted to know whether someone in the party provided any vital clues that led to the assassination of her father, but Nalini would not know such political links, Duraisamy said.