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Nalini accuses jail authorities of violating prison rules

Convicted Rajiv Gandhi assassin Nalini Sriharan, who is serving a life sentence in the Vellore Central Jail, has accused prison authorities of keeping her in isolation in violation of norms laid down in the prison manual.



New Delhi: Convicted Rajiv Gandhi assassin
Nalini Sriharan, who is serving a life sentence in the Vellore
Central Jail, has accused prison authorities of keeping her in
isolation in violation of norms laid down in the prison
manual.

"Prison manual rules regarding rights of prisoners are
being violated by jail authorities in the Vellore Central
Prison while dealing with Nalini," P Pugalenthi, her counsel
in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, told a news agency after
visiting her in the jail yesterday.

According to Pugalenthi, Nalini has been prevented from
communicating with the outside world and even her lawyer.

Reading out form the three-page complaint made by her
to the IG of Prisons requesting to be shifted to Puzhal jail,
Pugalenthi said, "All the prisoners have been prevented from
moving around near my cell. Neither the prison staff nor the
prisoners are allowed to talk to me. I am being treated like a
person with contagious disease."

According to him, Nalini had sent more than eight
complaints against the prison administration alleging that
jail officials are stifling the voice of prisoners who too
have fundamental rights guaranteed under the Indian
Constitution.

"In response to these complaints the Superintendent of
Prisons, Vellore has on June 9 issued her a notice charging
that Nalini attempted to hand over copies of her complaint to
her advocate," Pugalenthi said.

Pugalenthi said the jail authorities forcibly prevented
her from giving him copies of her complaint. The notice warned
that prison administration was contemplating action against
Nalini.
"Except legal recourse, a prisoner has no other remedy
to redress their grievances. The action of prison officials
to prevent a prisoner from handing over copy of their
representation to their counsel, is a serious breach of
fundamental rights. She gave us a copy of her complaint letter
secretly," Pugalenthi said.

In her complaint against the jail officials, Nalini has
contrasted the behaviour of the prison officials with that of
Priyanka Gandhi, who "made me sit beside her, touched me, gave
me water to drink and made a prisoner like me feel as a human
being."

PTI

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