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Rajiv Gandhi assassin begins fast

[BBC, Tuesday, 22 September 2009 08:26 2 Comments]

A woman convicted over assassinating former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi has begun an "indefinite" fast to demand her early release from jail.

Nalini Sriharan, who is in a prison in Tamil Nadu state, says she has been eligible for early release since 2005.

Rajiv Gandhi was killed by a suicide bomb at an election rally in May 1991. India has always blamed the attack on Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels.

Sriharan was convicted for being part of the assassination squad.

She was one of four people initially given a death sentence, for being part of the plot to assassinate Rajiv Gandhi.

At least 14 other people – including the suicide bomber – were also killed in the attack.

Sriharan’s sentence was commuted to a life term, following a plea for clemency by Rajiv Gandhi’s widow and Congress Party president, Sonia Gandhi.

She has served more than 18 years in Vellore prison. She claims she is only required to serve 14 years in prison before being entitled to premature release under Indian laws.

Sriharan began her "indefinite" fast on Monday morning, demanding that an advisory board to decide on her release be set up as soon as possible.

In 2006, the Tamil Tiger rebels expressed "regret" for the murder of Rajiv Gandhi in a move which correspondents say was a realisation by the rebels that the assassination was a huge mistake.

Last year, Priyanka Gandhi, daughter of the slain prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, met Sriharan in prison.

[Full Coverage]

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  • Kamal David said:

    Not sure why this woman’s getting so much publicity. After all she aided in the successful killing of an Indian leader. To me it appears as if there’s a lot of sympathy going around for her. This cannot be the sentiment of the Indian population, right? It cannot be the sentiment of the Sri Lankans either. Then, who’s left: the Tamils in India and Sri Lanka. It’s time the World realized that the Tamils all over are never good to anyone but themselves. They should be all concentrated and sent back to South India!

  • dees pillay said:

    Kamal david must learn that the TAMILS are the cradle of the human race, they stood the test of time, It took over 10 countries to destroy the LTTE,(Russia, usa, cuba, china, india, pakistan etc) sri Lanka on its own was useless.
    You cannot destroy truth , Tamil is the truth, FIGHTING FOR SURVIVAL IS NOT TERRORISM……….we fought Apartheid in South Africa and won, you and the sri lankan government must realise that you cannot oppress anyone for too long.TRUTH WILL OVER COME.