Nalini hopeful of walking free soon

(October 04, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) Whether Nalini Sriharan, convicted and undergoing life sentence in the Rajiv Gandhi murder case, gets her sentence commuted or not, there sure seems to be a concerted effort, with very many forces at play, to get her out of jail.

Today, her advocates called on Nalini at Vellore Central prison and sought her approval to start a campaign for her early release. But, in a sense, the campaign is already on using the megaphones in the media.

Talking to media persons after the meeting, advocates said Nalini is confident that she would be released soon from the Vellore prison.

Nalini was awarded the death sentence, which was later changed to life imprisonment based on an appeal from Sonia Gandhi after Nalini gave birth to a girl in jail.

Nalini and Murugan alias Sriharan, a former Tamil Tiger, had got married in jail. Both had been sentenced to death.

Recently the Madras High Court quashed the Advisory Board order rejecting the plea of Nalini for premature release.

The court said the right to remission was entirely on the Tamilnadu government. Nalini, life convict, had appealed in May this year for an early release citing her good behaviour while in prison.

The government should reconstitute an advisory committee for Nalini’s release. Nalini has so far spent 17 years in Vellore prison. Nalini’s advocates S Duraisamy and D Ilango today called on her. The meeting lated for over a hour.

Talking to media men after the meeting, the advocates said, ‘we briefed her on the direction given by the Madras High Court on her plea for premature release’.

‘We are planning to start an organisation for Nalini’s release called ‘Rehabilitation for Life Convicts’ . We sought her approval for it and she gave her nod’, they said.

Senior Communist leader R Nallakannu, DPI general secretary Thol Thirumavalavan, Congress leader Thamizharuvi Manian, former CBI director Karthikeyan among others are said to form part of the organisation’s panel.

‘After obtaining their approval, we would come out with a statement on the issue of seeking Nalini’s early release’.

They also dismissed Janata party leader Dr Subramaniam Swamy’s claim that Nalini cannot be released from prison according to law. ‘According to the Sec 11 of the Indian Constitution, the State government is empowered to take a final decision on the release of those convicted for life sentence’, they said.

‘Godse, who killed Mahatma Gandhi was released form prison after 16 years. But Nalini is languishing in the prison for 17 years’, they added. Nalini had shot a letter thanking Priyanka Gandhi for meeting her at the central prison. However she has not replied, they said.
- Sri Lanka Guardian