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

The Supreme Court verdict acquitting Rajiv Gandhi’s killers was strongly opposed by the Congress.


Five of them — Nalini Sriharan, her husband Murugan, Santhan, Robert Payas and Jayakumar — were formally released a day after the Supreme Court ordered the release of six people sentenced to life imprisonment for the 1991 assassination of Rajiv Gandhi after 31 years in jail. . from the jails of Tamil Nadu on Saturday evening. Convict RP Ravichandran was also due to be released anytime.

“It’s a new life for me, with my husband and daughter,” she said after coming out. “Thank you Tamil people for supporting me,” he said, but denied that he would enter public life. He also thanked the state and central governments.

Last May, the Supreme Court used its special powers to free AG Perariwalan, one of the seven convicts. The court said on November 11 that the same order will apply to the rest. In 2018, the Government of Tamil Nadu advised the Governor to release the convict and the Governor complied.

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This morning, Nalini Sriharan, who was already out on parole, went to the local police station and surrendered. After completing formalities at a special prison for women in Vellore, Nalini was released and went to the central prison where her husband V Sriharan, Murugan and Santhan were released.

Both Murugan and Santhan are Sri Lankan nationals and were taken in a police car to a refugee camp in Tiruchirappalli in the state.

Two other Lankans, Robert Payas and Jayakumar, who were released from Pujal jail, were also taken to the refugee camp. Convict Perarivalan and his mother Arputhammal, who were released in May, were received in Pujal jail.

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It is not clear whether Nalini will stay in Chennai or join her daughter in London. “He will talk about it over the phone,” his lawyer told news agency PTI. Asked about the fate of her husband Murugan, the lawyer said the state government would decide on the deportation. Convict Santhan has already expressed his desire to return to Sri Lanka, he added.

In ordering their release, the Supreme Court said the convicts were “satisfied” and had obtained degrees, written books and were active in social work.

The Supreme Court verdict acquitting Rajiv Gandhi’s killers was strongly opposed by the Congress. The party said it did not agree with the views of Sonia Gandhi and her children Rahul and Priyanka, who were in favor of amnesty for convicts.

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In 2000, Nalini Sriharan’s sentence was commuted to life. In late 2014, the sentences of six other convicts were commuted and then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa recommended their release.

Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991 in a suicide bomb attack by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during a public rally in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu. It was seen as retaliation after he sent Indian peacekeepers to Sri Lanka in 1987 and withdrew them after losing more than 1,200 men in combat.


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