Nalini Sriharan, one of the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, was released on parole Thursday from the Vellore central prison. This is the first time Nalini, India’s longest-serving woman prisoner, has been granted ordinary parole of 30 days in her 28-year-long incarceration.
The Madras High Court had granted Nalini parole earlier this month to attend her daughter’s wedding. Nalini will remain in Vellore town, which is around 140 kilometres from Chennai, where her family has hired a house at Sathuvachari for the wedding. She will live here for a month with her daughter Harithra Sriharan, mother Padmavati, sister Kalyani and brother Bhagyanathan, among other relatives.
Nalini will not return to her house in Royapettah, in Chennai.
Nalini was arrested in 1991 in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. She was sentenced to death by a TADA court and the Supreme Court. The death penalty, however, was commuted to life imprisonment by the Tamil Nadu government in 2000.
Nalini had been granted emergency parole for 12-hours in 2016 to return home after her father’s death. However, this is the first time she is being given ordinary parole.
In court, Nalini had said that she and her husband, Murugan, who is also serving time in connection with the case, could not do anything for their daughter’s life and education, but wanted to make arrangements for her marriage. Nalini had given birth to Harithra in prison.
The division bench of Justice M M Sundresh and Justice M Nirmal Kumar had granted her parole on the condition that she would not meet political leaders, give interviews to the media or post on social media.