When Rajiv Gandhi assassin Nalini Sriharan met Priyanka Gandhi Vadra
Nalini Sriharan, one of the seven convicts serving a life term in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, has already served 25 years in prison.
Chennai: An autobiographical account of Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convict Nalini Sriharan was released in Chennai on Thursday.
The book, written in Tamil, titled "Rajiv Kolai: Marikapatta Unmaigalum Priyanka Nalini Santhippum", was released by Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) founder Vaiko.
Roughly translated into English, the title of the book means "Rajiv murder: Concealed truths and the Nalini-Priyanka meeting."
Nalini, one of the seven convicts serving a life term in the case, has already served 25 years in prison and is currently lodged at the high-security Vellore Central jail.
She has reportedly discussed Gandhi's assassination in the book, the events that followed including the police interrogation, and has reportedly dedicated a substantial part of her 2008 meeting with Priyanka at the Vellore prison in the almost 500-page book, compiled by Pa Egalaivan.
In the book, Nalini said that Priyanka "looked straight at me for nearly two minutes" in silence and then broke down while asking her: "Why did you do it?"
"Why did you do it? My father is a good man, a soft man, you could have resolved anything over a discussion with him," Priyanka had said.
Nalini said: "I did not expect to see her cry. I know how painful a tear is.”
She had then replied: "Madam, I don't know anything. I won't even hurt an ant. I'm a prisoner of circumstances. I've never thought of hurting anyone even in my dreams."
Nalini was arrested on June 14, 1991, in connection with the assassination of the former prime minister by an LTTE suicide bomber on May 21, 1991, during an election rally at nearby Sriperumbudur.
The Supreme Court had awarded death penalty to four of the 26 persons, including Nalini and her husband Murugan, found guilty in the case. It had also sentenced three others to life imprisonment.
Nalini`s sentence was commuted to life imprisonment by the Tamil Nadu Governor in 2000.
The death penalty of the three others, Murugan, Santhan, and Perarivalan, was commuted to life by the apex court on February 18, 2014, on the ground of inordinate delay in disposing of their mercy petitions by the President.
(With Agency inputs)