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Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict released for a month

Last updated on: July 25, 2019 18:28 IST

Nalini Sriharan, one of the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, was released from a prison in Tamil Nadu's Vellore on Thursday on a 30-day parole amid tight security to make arrangements for her daughter's wedding.

IMAGE: Nalini Sriharan, one of the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, is released from prison on 30-day parole amid tight security for her daughter's wedding, in Tamil Nadu's Vellore district on Thursday July 25, 2019. Photograph: PTI Photo

Imprisoned since 1991, this is the first time Nalini will be out on parole for 30 days. She had been out of on parole earlier as well, but not for a period that extends to a month.

"She has been released on parole. The relief to her comes with several conditions," a prison official said.

 

As soon as Nalini, clad in a golden yellow saree, walked out of the main gate of the special prison for women, she was escorted to a police van and taken to the residence of a pro-Tamil, Dravidian outfit leader at Rangapuram in Vellore where she will stay during her leave.

She was given an emotional welcome by her mother, Padma, who performed a traditional "arti" ritual.

In 2016, when Nalini's father, P Sankara Narayanan, died, she was granted emergency leave for 12 hours to participate in the funeral and later, allowed one day to take part in the 16th day of post-death rituals.

In 2004, she was allowed to go for the wedding of her brother, Bhagyanathan.

The 12-point conditions of her parole include a bar on her from interacting with the media, political parties or personalities and an undertaking to keep good conduct and not disrupt public peace.

The 30-day leave will not be included in her total term of imprisonment and she has also agreed to cancellation of leave and return to prison in the event of violation of any condition, the official said.

Her legal adviser, P Pugazhenthi, said that the date of marriage of Nalini's daughter is expected to be made known in two weeks.

She has to remain in Vellore district, 137 km from Chennai. She will also appear before the Sathuvachary police station daily and sign a register, according to her legal counsel.

Earlier this month, the Madras high court had granted her leave after she argued her plea in person.

Nalini, lodged in the Special Prison for Women in Vellore for over 27 years, had sought a six-month leave to make arrangements for her daughter's marriage.

Besides Nalini, six others, including her husband Sriharan, alias Murugan, a Sri Lankan national, are serving life imprisonment in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

The former prime minister was killed by an LTTE suicide bomber during an election rally at Sriperumpudur near here on May 21, 1991.

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