Rajiv Gandhi Case: Supporters Of Nalini Sriharan Celebrate Her Premature Release. WATCH

Supporters of Nalini Sriharan, one of six convicts in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi whose release from prison was ordered by the Supreme Court today, let off fireworks and distributed sweets outside her home in Vellore, Tamil Nadu. 

According to a video posted by the news agency ANI, supporters of the convict are seen celebrating her early release from prison in the case. The fans can be seen popping crackers and handing out sweets.

Nalini Sriharan, India’s longest-serving female prisoner, was working for a private business in Chennai after graduating from Ethiraj College with a degree in English language and literature. Unlike the other defendants in the case, Nalini and her family had no political ties, The Wion reported. 

The Supreme Court on Friday granted the immediate release of six prisoners who have been serving life sentences in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case for more than three decades.

Nalini, Ravichandran, Jayakumar, Suthenthiraraja Santhan, Murugan, and Robert Pius are the six convicted.

A panel of Justices B R Gavai and B V Nagarathna ruled that the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of former co-convict A G  Perarivalan, one of the case’s convicts, is equally relevant in their case.

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On May 18, the Supreme Court granted Perarivalan early release in the exercise of its exceptional powers under Article 142 of the Constitution. The May decision ruled that the State of Tamil Nadu, not the Union, had sole authority to propose remission in the matter.

Instead of making a decision, the Governor forwarded their papers to the Centre. In cases of murder, the Governor was obligated by the Cabinet’s advice since their convictions under the now-defunct Terrorism and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act were overturned by the Supreme Court, The Hindu reported. 

The Supreme Court’s decision to release the remaining assassins of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is both undesirable and incorrect, according to the Congress.

ALSO READ: SC Orders Release of Six Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Accused Including Nalini, RP Ravichandran

“The Congress Party criticises it clearly and finds it wholly untenable,” said Congress communication chief Jairam Ramesh in a statement.  “It is most unfortunate that the Supreme Court has not acted in consonance with the spirit of India on this issue.”

In 1991, a suicide bomber murdered former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi during an electoral rally in Sriperumbudur. Dhanu (alias) Thenmozhi Rajaratnam, an Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) suicide bomber, blew off an explosive-laden belt while bending to touch Rajiv Gandhi’s feet. In addition to Rajiv Gandhi, 14 other people were killed in the Sriperumbudur explosion.

TADA court condemned 26 suspects, including Perarivalan and Nalini, for their roles in the assassination in 1998.

(With Inputs From Agencies)