From 8 in the morning, cameras were set near the Indian Overseas Bank in Kotturpuram, waiting for the arrival of Nalini Sriharan, who was on parole after 25 years. The convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case arrived at 10 am, in a police van, accompanied by at least 10 police officers.
Though Nalini was taken to the third floor where her family lives, she came down twice to see her father’s body. A distraught Nalini was seen trying to comfort her mother who was continuously weeping.
Whenever she came down, there was a sudden panic to get the perfect stills.
At one point, the family that wanted to mourn peacefully asked the media to leave the venue.
Around 3:30pm, after Nalini’s father’s body was taken for funeral and it was time for her to return to the prison where she had spent 25 years of her life.
In an interview with NewsX, Nalini said, “I am hopeful Tamil Nadu Chief minister Jayalalithaa will help us to come out. All seven of us should be released as we have spent more than twenty-five years in prison.”
Asked about Congress calling them convicts, she said, “All seven of us are innocent. We didn't commit any crime. Everybody knows that. We didn't do anything. Just because they call as convicts we don't become convicts.”
Nalini Sriharan, one of the convicts of the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case on Wednesday thanked Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa for the 12-hour-parole.
Talking to the media before leaving, she said that she would make an appeal to Tamil Nadu government to release her.
She also thanked Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi for reducing her sentence and also requested them to release her.
She made these statements after her father’s last rites were over in Kotturpuram, Chennai.
Nalini was on a 12-hour parole to attend the last rites of her father by the Vellore Central Prison.
She appealed that all those convicted in the case and have served for more than 20 years should be freed.
Bhagyanathan, Nalini’s younger brother appealed all those serving more than 25 years should be released.
S Nalini, life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, has been granted parole for 12 hours between 8 am to 8 pm on Wednesday to pay last rites to her father.
Nalini was sentenced to death by the trial court in the case on January 28, 1998. Her sentence was commuted to life term by the Tamil Nadu Governor on April 24, 2000.
Last December, she approached the Madras HC seeking an intervention of Tamil Nadu government to consider her representation for premature release, saying she has undergone imprisonment for more than 24 years.
The release of the seven convicted of killing former PM Rajiv Gandhi had been a contentious issue in the state politics with most of the parties including the AIADMK and DMK demanding the same, with an eye on the vote bank.
Video courtesy: NewsX