Three ex-convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination return to Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan nationals, who were convicted in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, before leaving for Sri Lanka, at Chennai airport on Wednesday. Photo: PTI

Chennai: Three ex-convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, all of them Sri Lankans, returned to their home country on Wednesday, nearly two years after being freed by the Supreme Court. They had earlier served a three-decade prison term in connection with the killing of the former Prime Minister.
V Murugan alias Sriharan, S Jeyakumar and B Robert Payas left by a Sri Lankan carrier for Colombo on Wednesday, officials said.

The Tamil Nadu government had last month informed the Madras High Court that the Sri Lankan High Commission here had granted travel documents to Murugan and the rest and they could return home once a deportation order is issued by the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO). Murugan had earlier moved the court seeking a direction to authorities concerned to provide him a photo ID.

The three persons were among the seven convicts in the case freed by the Supreme Court in November 2022.

Post their release, they were lodged in a special camp in Tiruchirappalli. They were brought here last night and left for Colombo today.

Earlier, Murugan's wife Nalini had also moved the court, seeking a direction to the authorities to permit her husband to appear before the Sri Lankan High Commission here with an escort to get an 'all country passport'. The couple intended to join their daughter who is now residing in the UK, she had then submitted.

Another Lankan national convicted in the case, Santhan, had died here recently. The others who had been convicted and freed in the case are Perarivalan, Ravichandran and Nalini, all Indians.

On Wednesday, Nalini met Murugan and others at the airport, prior to their journey back home. Rajiv Gandhi was killed by a suicide bomber of the banned LTTE near Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991.

Seven persons were convicted in the case with four of them, including Nalini, given capital punishment, but later it was commuted to life. All seven had served over 30 years in prison before the Supreme Court ordered their premature release in November 2022.

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