Rajiv Gandhi assassination: Sriharan out on parole

Rajiv Gandhi assassination: Nalini Sriharan comes out on month-long parole

This is the second time Nalini has been granted ordinary parole

Nalini Sriharan. Credit: PTI file photo

Nalini Sriharan, one of the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, was on Monday released from the Central Prison in Vellore on month-long parole to take care of her ailing mother.

Nalini was released from the prison on Monday morning, days after the Tamil Nadu government told the Madras High Court that it has decided to grant parole to the life convict based on a petition filed by her mother Padmavathi.

Padmavathi had sought the presence of her daughter, Nalini, citing her ill-health.

Nalini, whose husband Murugan is also a convict in the sensational case, will stay with her mother at a rented accommodation in Brahmapuram near Katpadi in the Vellore district. This is the second time Nalini has been granted ordinary parole after she spent 45 days with her UK-based daughter to discuss her marriage and find a groom for her.

The release of Nalini on parole comes close on the heels of the Tamil Nadu government extending the parole of another convict Perarivalan, who is out of prison since May this year. Numerous petitions filed by Nalini seeking her early release citing her “good conduct” in jail have been rejected by courts in the past 15 years.

The Tamil Nadu Cabinet headed by the then Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had in 2018 recommended the release of the seven convicts but the then Governor Banwarilal Purohit sat on the file for two years before informing the Supreme Court that he has forwarded the same to the President.

The release of the seven convicts is an emotional issue in Tamil Nadu with almost all regional parties supporting the cause, while Congress and BJP oppose the move.

As there was no forward movement, Nalini moved the Madras High Court in October this year seeking her release from prison without waiting for the Tamil Nadu governor’s decision on the state cabinet resolution recommending the release of all seven convicts in the case.

Filing a detailed affidavit last month, the Tamil Nadu government urged the Madras High Court to reject Nalini’s petition suggesting that the Governor’s nod is mandatory for her release.

The government, in the affidavit, suggested that the approval of the Governor on the recommendation of the Cabinet was necessary for Nalini’s release from the jail. Chief Minister M K Stalin had in May this year written to President Ram Nath Kovind seeking his immediate decision on the release of the seven convicts.

Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by an LTTE suicide bomber on May 21, 1991 minutes before he was to address an election rally in Sriperumbudur.

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