MDMK leader Vaiko also accused the police officials of abusing Nalini when she was arrested.

As Rajiv assassin Nalini releases her autobiography supporters recount her abuse in prison
news Autobiography Friday, November 25, 2016 - 09:29
Written by  Pheba Mathew

She has been in prison for 26 years, which makes her the longest serving woman prisoner of India. She is also perhaps among the most-high profile woman prisoners in the country, expectedly so, for being the assassin of a former PM is not easily forgotten. But for the supporters and well-wishers of Rajiv Gandhi assassin Nalini Sriharan, what remains etched in their minds are the atrocities they say she has faced over the years. 

On Thursday evening, the former LTTE operative’s autobiography was launched in Chennai. Outside the RKV studio in Vadapalani, big posters were put up, and several copies of the book spread out and kept in display. All the speakers, from MDMK leader Vaiko to Nalini’s mother Padmavathi, had one thing in common to speak about – Nalini’s hardships in prison. 

Speaking at the event, Padmavati said that her daughter has been suffering in the prison for the last 26 years. "She has been kept in a cordoned-off area in the prison and she is upset. She was not even allowed to meet her daughter for two years after she was born, " she recalled.

Remembering the days when Sriharan came to live with them, Padmavati said that Nalini was the one who brought him to the house and wanted him to study. Padmavati had refused initially, but allowed later. 

MDMK leader Vaiko also accused police officials of abusing Nalini when she was arrested. “This book will surely point out the atrocities that Nalini is facing due to draconian laws in our country,” he said at the event.

Moreover, he wants Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to use Article 161 under the Constitution of India to get the Rajiv Gandhi assassination convicts released.  

This book highlights the plight of Nalini in the prison, said Pugazhendi, Nalini’s lawyer. "She was threatened by police officials for informing them that someone was trying to kill her in the prison in 2010," he said.

Nalini is the worst affected in all the Rajiv Gandhi's assassins, he added.  "26 years have passed but she has still not been released. We have made several attempts to get her out of prison but nothing has helped her case," he said.

“Many lifers have been released since 2001, but no government wants to take efforts to release Nalini. Even Sanjay Dutt was released," he said.

MDMK Chief Vaiko released the autobiography titled "Rajiv Kolai: Maraikkappata Unmaikallum Priyanka-Nalini Santhippu" (Rajiv Murder: Hidden truths and the meeting between Priyanka Gandhi and Nalini).  The first copy was accepted by VCK leader Thol Thirumalavan. 

Speaking to The News Minute, Ekalaivan, writer of the book said that he had been planning to write it since 2010. "I met Nalini and Murugan in 2010 but didn't start writing it then as Murugan was supposed to be hanged to death. In 2016, I began writing the book. It took nine months,” he said.

He said that the book includes the conversation between Priyanka Gandhi and Nalini in 2008 and what happened after that. It also includes Nalini's relationship with Sriharan and their marriage, he said.

Talking about the conversation between Priyanka Gandhi and Nalini, VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan said, “Priyanka did not meet Nalini to get her released, rather it was a political move by the Nehru family and the central government,” he said.