Villagers near Katpadi celebrate the release of Nalini

November 12, 2022 12:36 am | Updated 12:36 am IST - VELLORE

Police deployed at the rented house at Brahmapuram where Nalini stayed whenever she was out on parole.

Police deployed at the rented house at Brahmapuram where Nalini stayed whenever she was out on parole. | Photo Credit: VENKATACHALAPATHY C

On a rainy day, pensioner M. Kamalanathan holds his granddaughter on one hand and distributes sweets to a group of residents at Brahmapuram, a farming village in Katpadi town in Vellore district, to celebrate the release of Nalini Sriharan, one of the six convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, by the Supreme Court on Friday.

He lives opposite the rented house where Nalini has been staying with her mother whenever she comes out of jail on parole. The rented house belongs to a retired housing board employee, S. Ravi, who died a few years ago.

Both Mr. Ravi and Mr. Kamalanathan were neighbours since late 1990s when they moved to the neighbourhood. “She [Nalini] used to talk to us, asking our names and where we work. The village considers her their daughter despite her past,” says Mr. Kamalanathan, 67, who retired from the Registration Department.

The single-storey house of Ms. Nalini is being heavily guarded by a police team round the clock for many months. On Friday, more police personnel were posted on Gangai Amman Koil Street, where the house is located. Barricades were erected on all four sides of the house.

The police did not stop the residents in the neighbourhood from celebrating her release. Crackers were burst on the main stretch of the village.

Shopkeeper K. Vasanthi says Ms. Padma, Nalini’s mother, or her relative used to come to the shop every day to buy groceries and essentials. However, every item would be thoroughly checked by the security personnel posted in front of the house before they were taken into the house.

The police presence in the village during Ms. Nalini’s parole secured the neighbourhood from petty crimes, she added.

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