Nalini Sriharan, Rajiv Gandhi Case Convict, On Release: It’s A New Life


Nalini Sriharan was released from prison on Saturday.


Nalini Sriharan, one of the six convicts in former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination who were released on Saturday following a Supreme Court order, said it was a new life for her and added that she would not be joining public life.

“It’s a new life with my husband and daughter. I am not going to join public life. I thank Tamils for supporting me for more than 30 years. I thank both the state and central governments. I have spoken to my daughter,” she said in her first comments after coming out of jail.

The Supreme Court on Friday had ordered the release of Nalini Sriharan and five others, who were convicted in the killing of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991, drawing sharp criticism from the Congress.

The decision, however, was welcomed by many in Tamil Nadu where their incarceration has been an emotive issue given many believe that the seven locals convicted were part of the plot without knowing its extent.

The court said its decision was based on the prisoners’ good behaviour and the release in May of AG Perarivalan, another person convicted in the case, saying that he was 19 years old at the time of arrest and had been jailed for more than 30 years, with 29 of those in solitary confinement.

Rajiv Gandhi was killed by a suicide bomber while campaigning for an election in Tamil Nadu’s Sriperumbudur in May 1991 by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a Sri Lankan group.

Rajiv Gandhi’s killing was seen as an act of retaliation after he sent Indian peacekeepers to Sri Lanka in 1987, only to withdraw them after losing more than 1,200 men in battle and facing allegations of human rights violations in the island nation.


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