Tamil Nadu set to release Nalini

September 25th, 2008 - 9:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Sep 25 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu government is set to expedite the premature release of Nandini Murugan, who was sentenced to death for her role in the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, Chief Minister M Karunanidhi indicated Thursday. “The advisory board of Vellore prison will asked to reconsider its recommendations on the application for premature release by Nalini which will be considered on merits to arrive at a decision according to our laws,” Karunanidhi wrote in the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam newspaper Murasoli.

Legal sources told IANS on conditions of anonymity that Karunanidhi’s statement simply meant that the government would ask the newly constituted advisory panel to recommend the release and accede to her request.

The Madras High Court struck down the government order rejecting Nalini’s plea for premature release Wednesday saying the improperly constituted advisory panel’s recommendations were wrong.

Nalini Murugan, alias Sriharan, who had accompanied the suicide bomber Dhanu to the election rally in Sriperumbudur where Gandhi was killed in May 1991, had sought her release saying she had spent more than the mandatory maximum 14 years in jail.

Nalini, her husband and former Tamil Tiger guerrilla Murugan and two others were sentenced to death for their role in the killing of Gandhi.

The Madras High Court had upheld Nalini’s plea for clemency on a technicality and on the basis of an earlier ruling of the Supreme Court, which said that both the parents of a child should not be put to death. Her death penalty was later commuted to life sentence.

Rajiv Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka met Nalini in Vellore jail and said she wanted to understand for herself what made Nalini and her colleagues act in the way they did and said she wanted to “make peace” with the past.

Nalini had delivered a girl Megara - presently studying in Britain - in prison in 1992.

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