Priyanka admits she met key convict in father’s killingApril 15th, 2008 - 3:31 pm ICT by admin
New Delhi, April 15 (IANS) Saying she did not believe in anger or violence, Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka Tuesday confirmed she met in prison Nalini Sriharan, one of those convicted for the assassination of her father and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. “I met Nalini on March 19. It was purely a personal visit on my own initiative which must be respected,” said Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in a statement, after the Times of India Tuesday reported the meeting at the Vellore prison in Tamil Nadu.
“I do not believe in anger or violence and I refuse to let it overpower me. Meeting Nalini was my way of coming to terms with my father’s death,” she said here.
Nalini, now 43, was sentenced to death by a special court for her involvement in Gandhi’s assassination at Sriperumbudur near Chennai May 21,1991. The sentence was commuted to life imprisonment after Sonia Gandhi petitioned for clemency for the sake of Nalini’s five-year-old daughter.
According to what Nalini told her lawyers, an emotional Priyanka made Nalini sit next to her and asked several questions related to the killing blamed on Sri Lanka’s Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Nalini, an Indian, had accompanied the Sri Lankan woman suicide bomber Dhanu who blew up Rajiv Gandhi with hidden explosives at Sriperumbudur where he had gone to address an election rally.
Nalini, who was a close friend of an LTTE operative known as Murugan, who too is an accused in the case, later gave birth to a girl in prison.
Asked Tuesday about his sister’s meeting with Nalini, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi told reporters at the parliament complex: “Both my sister and I do not believe in violence. Her meeting with Nalini was in this context.”
Would he follow his sister’s footsteps? Rahul Gandhi replied: “I have my own way of looking at things.”
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