Sriharan alias Murugan, life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and husband of fellow prisoner Nalini, has applied for one-month parole to meet his father who is undergoing treatment for cancer in Sri Lanka, according to his advocate P Pugalendhi.
He said Murugan’s father Vetrivel would be flown to Chennai next week for further treatment. Murugan has therefore applied for parole with the Vellore prison superintendent. Nalini is already on a month’s parole, granted by the high court, to make arrangement for their London-based daughter’s wedding. She has been on parole since July 25 but staying in Vellore as directed by the court. She has since got three weeks extension.
Both Murugan and Nalini have been in jail for the past 28 years since the assassination of the former Prime Minister in Sriperumpudur on May 21, 1991. Nalini was the first to get a reprieve as her death sentence was commuted to life by the Tamil Nadu Governor at the intervention of Sonia Gandhi.
Mrs Gandhi intervened as the child would be orphaned with both Murugan and Nalini facing the gallows then. That girl, born in jail, is now getting married. It was Ram Jethmalani, who died at age of 95 on Sunday, who got a reprieve for Murugan and seven other condemned prisoners in the same case from the Supreme Court on the ground of inordinate delay in the disposal of their mercy petitions by the President of India.
Though the Tamil Nadu government has recommended premature release of all the convicts in the case, Governor Panwarilal Purohit is sitting on the proposal for nearly a year now.