Rajiv Gandhi assassin Nalini Sriharan ends her fast

      Nalini Sriharan, who is serving a life term in connection with the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, ended her fast on Wednesday after Vellore jail officials assured her that her plea for premature release after 18 years in jail would be considered. Nalini was on a hunger strike in the jail for thee days. She had filed a revised petition before the Madras High Court seeking her premature release. The court had ordered the government to constitute a new advisory committee to consider her release. She had also sought her release on the ground that she had spent more than the mandatory maximum 14 years in jail. Nalini had accompanied a suicide bomber squad to the election rally in Sriperumbudur where Rajiv Gandhi was killed on May 21, 1991. Three other convicts sentenced to death in connection with the same case, had appealed for release on the grounds that they had waited for years for the hangman - a condition worse than capital punishment. Further, they said they had also completed the life imprisonment period. Nalini, her husband and former Tamil Tiger guerrilla Murugan and two other rebels were sentenced to death for their role in Gandhi's assassination. The Madras High Court had upheld Nalini's plea for clemency on a technicality ground 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. She bore a child after being arrested and while facing a trial. Her death penalty was commuted to a life sentence.

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