Nalini, Convict in Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Case, Out on Parole

Nalini Sriharan, a convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, is out on parole to attend her daughter’s wedding

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Nalini Sriharan, a convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, gets 30-day parole. 

Nalini Sriharan, serving life imprisonment in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, stepped out of jail on Thursday, 25 July, after about 21 years. Escorted by women police, Sriharan has been let out of the prison in Vellore’s Thorapadi on a one-month parole to attend her daughter’s wedding.

Around 10 am, Sriharan was greeted outside the prison by her mother. Her daughter Haritha, who is pursuing medicine in the United Kingdom, is expected to arrive in about a week.

Nalini Sriharan was arrested in June 1991 in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and given a death sentence, along with four others, in 1998. Later, however, after Sonia Gandhi’s intervention, the sentence was changed to life imprisonment. Currently, she is serving her life imprisonment in the Vellore jail.

On 5 July, the Madras High Court granted her parole after a hearing where she argued for herself. Sriharan had argued that she would need a parole for six months to make necessary arrangements for her daughter’s wedding.

“I could not look after my daughter. I did not fulfil my motherly responsibilities," she argued. "I did not fulfil my responsibilities to my father before he died. Now I've to meet my family for my daughter's wedding. I've to arrange for finances.”

In her emotional appeal to the court, Sriharan claimed that she had been “wrongfully punished” in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

The court, however, agreed to a one-month parole, and waived the charges for police security stating she “was not a woman of means.”

As for conditions of parole specified by the court, she is not allowed to leave her house in Vellore or interact with media and politicians.

Nalini Sriharan’s husband, Murugan, another convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, is also serving life sentence in the same jail.

Sriharan was pregnant at the time of the assassination and gave birth to her daughter in jail.

Earlier in 2016, she was granted a 12-hour parole to attend the last rites of her father, P Sankara Narayanan. She alleged that had been made to pay Rs.16,000 last year.

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