Nalini release, Rajiv Gandhi assasination
Former convict Nalini had filed a petition in the Madras high court demanding the release of her husband Sriharan, Sri Lankan national and accused in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, currently housed in a special camp for foreigners in Tiruchirappalli. File pic

Rajiv Gandhi assassination case: Four freed convicts to be deported to Sri Lanka

The government told Madras high court that four Sri Lankan convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case will be deported to their country of origin once their travel documents are prepared

The Sri Lankan life convicts, who were released in the former Prime minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, will be deported to Sri Lanka once their official paperwork is completed.

The government conveyed this information to the Madras high court in response to a petition filed by former convict Nalini. In a counter affidavit filed before the court, the government also added that it was a challenge to send back these Sri Lankan convicts since they had entered India without a passport. The four convicts Sriharan alias Murugan, Jayakumar and Santhan alias Suthenthiraraja and Robert Pius had entered India without documents making their deportation difficult, said the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) in Chennai.

News reports said that the FRRO had written to the ministry of external affairs in November 2022 to issue travel documents to facilitate the deportation of these Sri Lankan convicts, who had been released from prison in November last year, after the orders by the Supreme Court. The government has also approached the Sri Lankan high commission in India to provide the necessary documents.

These four convicts are currently housed at a special camp for foreigners in Tiruchirappalli.

Former convict Nalini, who had also served a long sentence in jail in the same case, approached the high court demanding her husband's release so that he could live with her.

As a norm, foreign convicts when released are deported to their country of origin if they have passports and other valid documents.

The four convicts, who are Sri Lankan nationals, were among the six people released from jail after the Supreme Court ordered the release of the six convicts in the 1991 Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, following Tamil Nadu government's controversial recommendation for their remission in March 2016.

The former Indian PM, Rajiv Gandhi, was assassinated in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu by a suicide bomber, Thenmozhi Rajarathinam, alias Dhanu, who was a member of the militant outfit, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). A total of 16 people, including Rajiv Gandhi and Dhanu, were killed in the blast and another 45 people were critically injured.

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