Nalini, life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, was transferred from the Special Prison for Women, Vellore, where she had been lodged for the last 19 years, to the Special Prison for Women, Puzhal near Chennai on Monday.
She was transferred on the orders of the Additional Director-General of Police (Prisons) K.R. Shyam Sundar, who gave the instructions on transfer, acting on her own petition which she had sent to him on April 8, seeking transfer to the Puzhal prison on the grounds that she was being harassed by the Vellore prison authorities. In her petition to the ADGP (Prisons) Nalini had also stated that her aged mother, brother and other relatives, who were in Chennai, were finding it difficult to travel all the way to Vellore to meet her. Therefore, she pleaded for transfer to the Puzhal prison to enable them to meet her easily. It is for this reason that the jail authorities decided to shift her to the Puzhal prison, said a prison official in Vellore.
Nalini was toying with the idea of moving the Madras High Court seeking her transfer to the Puzhal prison since the ADGP had not taken any action on her petition for over two months. Meanwhile, the State government constituted a committed headed by P. Govindarajan, Deputy Inspector-General of Prisons, Coimbatore Range, to go into the her allegations of harassment in the Vellore prison. The committee made enquiries with Nalini on May 4. Nalini had told her lawyer P. Pugazhendhi, who met her in the Vellore prison on Saturday, to keep in abeyance her earlier decision to move the Madras High Court seeking transfer to the Puzhal prison, since she felt that she was not subject to any harassment by the prison officials ever since the committee headed by the Coimbatore DIG of Prisons visited the Special Prison for Women, Vellore, and made enquiries with her and others about her allegations. However, she had not withdrawn her petition to the ADGP (Prisons) seeking transfer to the Puzhal prison.
Nalini, Accused Number 1 in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, was originally sentenced to death along with 25 others by TADA Court-1, Poonamallee, on January 28, 1998. Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated when he was proceeding for an election meeting in Sriperumbudur on May 31, 1991. Her death sentence was commuted to life sentence on April 25, 2000 by the then Tamil Nadu Governor Fathima Beevi, who issued the order, acting on the advice of the Council of Ministers, on a mercy petition filed by Nalini.