Nalini Sriharan, Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Convict, Leaves Jail After 31 Years


Congress strongly objected to the Supreme Court’s order to release Rajiv Gandhi’s killers.


A day after the Supreme Court ordered the release of six remaining life sentences in the 1991 murder case against Rajiv Gandhi after 31 years in prison, five of them – Nalini Sriharan, her husband Murugan and Santhan, Robert Payas and Jayakumar – were formally released from prison. Tamil Nadu prisons on Saturday night. Convict RP Ravichandran was also to be released at any time.

“It’s a new life for me with my husband and daughter,” she said after coming out. “I thank the Tamils ​​for their support,” she said, but denied entering public life. She also thanked the state and central governments.

By May, the Supreme Court had used its extraordinary powers to release one of the seven convicts, AG Perarivalan. The same order applied to the rest, the court said on Nov. 11. It noted that in 2018, the cabinet of Tamil Nadu recommended the governor to release the convicts, and the governor was bound by that.

This morning, Nalini Sriharan, who was already on parole, visited a local police station to mark her mandatory presence. After completing formalities at the special women’s prison in Vellore, Nalini was released and went to the central prison from which her husband V Sriharan, alias Murugan, and Santhan were released.

Murugan and Santhan are both Sri Lankan nationals and were therefore taken in a police vehicle to a refugee camp in Tiruchirappalli in the state.

Two other Lankan nationals, Robert Payas and Jayakumar, were released from Puzhal prison and were also taken to the refugee camp to be accommodated there. The convict who was released in May, Perarivalan, and his mother Arputhammal received these two in Puzhal prison.

It was not immediately clear whether Nalini would remain in Chennai or join her daughter in London. “She will call about this,” her lawyer told PTI news agency. Asked about the fate of her husband Murugan, the lawyer said the state government would decide on deportation. The convicted Santhan had already expressed his intention to return to Sri Lanka, he added.

While ordering their release, the Supreme Court had said the convicts had “behaved satisfactorily”, obtained degrees, written books and also participated in social services.

Congress strongly objected to the Supreme Court’s order to release Rajiv Gandhi’s killers. It said the party disagreed with the views of Sonia Gandhi and her children Rahul and Priyanka, who have been advocates of mercy for the convicts.

In the year 2000, Nalini Sriharan’s sentence was reduced to life. Later in the year 2014, the sentences of the other six convicts were also reduced, and the then Prime Minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalitha recommended their release.

Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on 21 May 1991 in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, by a suicide bomber from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) group during a public rally. It was seen in retaliation after he sent Indian peacekeepers to Sri Lanka in 1987, only to withdraw them after he lost more than 1,200 men in the battle.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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