Rajiv Gandhi Killers Walk Out Of Jail After 31 Years

Nalini Sriharan, one of the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, being released from prison, in Vellore on Saturday | PTI photo

CHENNAI- Nalini Sriharan, her husband and three other convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case were released from Tamil Nadu prisons on Saturday evening.

Immediately after she was released from the special prison for women in Vellore, Nalini went to the Vellore central prison from where her husband V Sriharan alias Murugan was released and became emotional upon seeing him.

Murugan, along with Santhan, both Sri Lankan nationals, were taken in a police vehicle following their release to the special refugee camp in Tiruchirappalli in the state.

Two other Lankan nationals — Robert Payas and Jayakumar — released from the Puzhal prison here, were taken to the special refugee camp in Tiruchirappalli to be lodged there.

Earlier, another convict who was set free in May earlier, Perarivalan, along with his mother Arputhammal received the duo at the Puzhal prison.

The prison officials set into motion the process of releasing all six of them including four Sri Lankan nationals, following the receipt of the Supreme Court’s Friday order copy setting them at liberty.

The Supreme Court on Friday set free Nalini Sriharan and five other remaining convicts, who are serving life terms for about three decades in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, noting that its earlier order releasing another convict A G Perarivalan was equally applicable to them.

Earlier in the day, with relief writ large on her face, Nalini on parole for a month was escorted by the police to sign at the Katpadi police station.

Late in the afternoon, she was taken to the Vellore prison to complete the formalities pertaining to her release.

Similarly, the Supreme Court’s order copies were sent to the Puzhal and Madurai central prisons where the remaining persons have been lodged.

“Nalini Sriharan is all set to walk out of the prison this evening. She will be a free woman and would decide on her future,” her advocate P Pugazhendi, said when contacted.

It was not immediately clear if she would stay in Chennai or join her daughter in London. “She will take a call on this,” Pugazhendi told PTI.

Asked about the fate of her husband, a Sri Lankan national, the senior counsel said the state government would decide.

“Santhan had already expressed his intention to return to Sri Lanka. Initially, they may be lodged at the Sri Lankan refugee camp,” he said.

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