Nalini shifted from Vellore to Chennai prison


Chennai : Nalini Sriharan, serving life sentence for the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, was Monday shifted to the high security Puzhal prison here from Vellore women’s jail, officials said.

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She was brought here from Vellore, around 120 km from here. Nalini had complained to Inspector General of Prisons K. Shyamsundar, alleging that Vellore prison authorities were trying to poison her food.

She had also complained that jail authorities were preventing other inmates from interacting with her and had requested a transfer to Puzhal prison.

Soon after her complaint, Vellore prison officials raided Nalini’s cell and seized a mobile phone and SIM cards.

Nalini has approached the Madras High Court against the Tamil Nadu government’s decision in March to reject her appeal for release before her life term ends.

The government based its decision on the findings of the Prison Advisory Board headed by the Vellore district collector.

The board had listed eight reasons for not freeing Nalini, including her reported refusal to apologise for Gandhi’s murder in May 1991.

A woman suicide bomber from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) detonated explosives strapped to herself while pretending to touch Gandhi’s feet at an election rally near here May 21, 1991.

Nalini was part of the team of conspirators that witnessed Gandhi getting blown up. The LTTE apparently wanted to avenge Gandhi’s decision to deploy the Indian Army in Sri Lanka’s northeast in 1987.

Originally, Nalini was convicted on 16 counts of murder and given death penalty.

On the intervention of Rajiv Gandhi’s widow and now Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. In September last year, Nalini filed a petition that she was entitled for release in 2005 itself as she had completed 14 years in jail.