Chennai: The Madras High Court on Friday granted a 30-day parole to Nalini Sriharan, a convict in the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Nalini, who has been languishing in the Vellore Central Prison, had sought six-month parole to make arrangements for her daughter’s wedding.
In her plea, Nalini had said every life convict was entitled to one month of ordinary leave after completing two years in prison and she had not taken the leave even once during the past 27 years she had spent in jail.
She said she would like to argue her case in person. Nalini is one of the seven life convicts in the case. The other six are V Sriharan alias Murugan, husband of Nalini, AG Perarivalan, T Suthendraraja alais Santhan, Jayakumar, Robert Payas and Ravichandran.
In February this year, Nalini had gone on a hunger strike in the Special Prison for Women in Vellore seeking the release of all seven convicts in the case. Her protest came five months after the Tamil Nadu Cabinet had recommended the release of the seven life convicts to Governor Banwarilal Purohit.
All seven have been in prison since 1991, the year a woman Tamil Tiger suicide bomber blew up Rajiv Gandhi at an election rally near Chennai. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was blamed for the assassination.
In August 2018, one of the convicts had told the Supreme Court that no action had been taken on his mercy petition filed before the Governor of Tamil Nadu. Meanwhile, the Centre did not agree to their release and informed the court that it would set a ‘dangerous precedent’ with ‘international ramifications’.
The Paattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), an ally of the BJP in Tamil Nadu, had also urged the Governor to order the release of the seven convicts. On September 9, the Tamil Nadu government had recommended their release.