Priyanka Gandhi asked me about her father's killing, she cried.. she was an angel: Nalini Sriharantext_fields
Chennai: Nalini Sriharan, who was released days ago from jail after having been convicted in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, told NDTV she had prepared herself seven times to be hanged.
After former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in 1991 by a suicide bomber arranged by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Nalini was arrested alongside a few others and then was sentenced to death for her role in the act.
Rajiv Gandhi arrived in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu on a campaign trail fighting for another term in office when he was killed, paralysing the entire nation.
Afterwards, Nalini and others spent several years in jail until they were released following a Supreme Court order.
Decades after the shocking assassination, Nalini Sriharan told NDTV that she was not involved in the conspiracy to kill Rajiv Gandhi but was part of the group that had plotted it, thus she was charged in the case.
Nalini was quoted as saying the group of people involved in plotting were her husband's friends and Nalini was an acquaintance of theirs. She added that she used to go out with them to shops or theatres or hotels or temples but she had no personal contact with the group.
"I don't know their family, where they belong," she was quoted as saying.
Once in jail, she said, she expected to be executed any time and prepared herself for it seven times until the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in 2001 after Sonia Gandhi's intervention.
Nalini recalled her encounter with Rajiv Gandhi's daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra whom Nalini described as "a very kind person", adding that she was an "angel" because Priyanka made Nalini respect herself as she was not treated properly in the jail.
Priyanka invited her to sit beside her at a time when officers would not allow her to sit in front of them and that was a different experience for her, Nalini reportedly said.
The meeting with Priyanka turned out to be emotional because Rajiv Gandhi's daughter questioned Nalini about the killing of her father and afterwards Priyanka got emotional and broke down and cried.
Nalini bears the burden of the separation with her daughter who was born in jail in 1992 and was afterwards raised outside.
When Haritha, who is now a doctor in London, was married in 2019, Nalini came out for a month on parole to attend the wedding.
Nalini, who is now trying to reconnect with her daughter, said Haritha has forgotten her totally having been separated after two years of age.
Nalini said it would be hard for her daughter to understand what's happening as she is very young, and added that "it's a very difficult situation for me and her".