Nalini urges Centre to release 4 Lankan nationals from Trichy camp

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Santhan, Murugan, Robert Payas and Jayakumar have been kept in a special camp for foreigners in Trichy after they were released from prison in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case…reports Asian Lite News

Nalini Sriharan, a convict in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, on Tuesday appealed to the Central and Tamil Nadu governments to release the four Sri Lankan nationals who were recently released from jail and sent to the special camp in Tamil Nadu’s Trichy.

Nalini also distanced herself from the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and said that she can’t accept that she was named in the case.

“I appeal to state and central governments to release four Sri Lankan nationals, locked in Trichy special camp- including my husband. Despite being released from prison, this special camp is like a prison again,” she said while speaking to the media.

Santhan, Murugan, Robert Payas and Jayakumar have been kept in a special camp for foreigners in Trichy after they were released from prison in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

Murugan’s wife Nalini and Jayakumar’s wife Shanthi met them in person today in Trichy.

Calling herself a “Congress family”, Nalini claimed that they were distressed after the assassination of former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.

“Some people oppose our release. We’re a Cong family. When Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were assassinated, our family was sad and didn’t eat. I can’t accept I was named in Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination. I should be free of that blame,” she said adding that they don’t know who assassinated Rajiv Gandhi.

Nalini said that when she met Shantan, he informed her that he is going to Sri Lanka. Nalini also said she and her husband Murugan wish to go to London.

“Both Jayakumar and Robert Payas are undecided about their future as of now. I did not want to embarrass those who have done good for us and that is why I did not meet the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin yet,” she added.

She said that she wants to go to London and live with her daughter for the rest of her life.

“I have been separated from my daughter for nearly 16 years and want to go to London and live with her for the rest of my life. Despite being released from prison, this special camp is like a prison again. So, all four should be sent out of this camp as soon as possible,” she said.

Sriharan, who is the longest-serving woman prisoner serving a life sentence in the country, was released from the Vellore jail on November 12 following an order from the Supreme Court on November 11, freeing all six convicts, including RP Ravichandran, in the case.

Apart from Nalini, the other convicts in the case are Ravichandran, Robert Payas, Jayakumar, S Raja, and Sriharan.

Ravichandran, one of the six convicts in the assassination of former PM Rajiv Gandhi, was released from Madurai Central Prison.

On May 18, the Supreme Court had evoked its extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution to release AG Perarivalan, who was one of the seven convicts in the assassination case.

Earlier on Sunday, Sriharan had urged the Tamil Nadu government to take the necessary actions to release her husband as soon as possible from the Trichy Special camp.

“On Monday I am going to meet my husband at Trichy Special camp. We got married and we have a child who lives aboard. My daughter is so excited to meet her father. I really want to go and see a few places in Tamil Nadu mainly the late Kamala Sir Memorial. I can’t meet my husband yet so am not happy at present. I request the Tamil Nadu government to take the necessary actions to release him as soon as possible from the Camp,” she said.

Talking about her future plans, she said, “Family will be my priority and I am not going to do anything professional. My whole life is totally destroyed already so I am going to take care of the family,” she added.

Apart from Nalini, the other convicts in the case are Ravichandran, Robert Payas, Jayakumar, S Raja, and Sriharan.

Ravichandran, one of the six convicts in the assassination of former PM Rajiv Gandhi, was released from Madurai Central Prison.

The Tamil Nadu government had earlier recommended the premature release of convicts saying that its 2018 aid and advice for the remission of their life sentence is binding upon the Governor.

Nalini Sriharan and five others were serving life sentence terms in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. They were set free by the SC on the grounds of having good conduct in jail.

Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991, at Sriperumbudur Tamil Nadu by a woman suicide bomber of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) group during a public rally.

The seven convicts were sentenced to death for their role in the killing. They included Nalini Sriharan, RP Ravichandran, Jayakumar, Santhan, Murugan, Robert Payas, and AG Perarivalan.

In the year 2000, Nalini Sriharan’s sentence was reduced to a life term. Later in the year 2014, the sentence of the other six convicts was also reduced, and during the same year, the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalitha recommended the release of all the seven convicts in the case. (ANI)

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