Rajiv Gandhi assassination case: Three convicts to be deported to Sri Lanka in a week

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) –  India’s Tamil Nadu government informed Madras High Court on Tuesday that Sri Lankan deputy high commission has issued temporary travel documents to three convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case – Sriharan alias Murugan, Robert Payas and Jayakumar.

They will be deported to Sri Lanka within a week or once the deportation orders are issued by Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO), additional public prosecutor R Muniyapparaj informed a division bench of Justices R. Sureshkumar and K. Kumaresh Babu.

The submissions were made in response to a plea by Murugan seeking direction to the authorities of foreigners’ camp at Trichy to issue him a photo identity certificate.

However, recording the submissions, the bench said: “At this stage, the question of issuing any separate identity card as sought for in this writ petition does not arise. We feel that no order is required to be passed in this writ petition as per the prayer sought for herein to give a direction to the authorities to issue an identity card to the petitioner.”

Disposing of Murugan’s petition, the HC bench said the travel document issued by Sri Lankan high commission to the petitioner itself is a valid document, “based on which he can get the deportation order from FRRO, Chennai, and thereafter can travel back to his home country”.

The latest round of litigation initiated by Murugan pertains to his bid to seek asylum in the United Kingdom and to reunite with his daughter Mehara, who is a UK citizen and has completed her medical physics degree there.

Ever since Supreme Court set them free on Nov 11, 2022, the four freed convicts were taken to a special campus in Tiruchiprison premises as they are Lankan nationals. After the death of Santhan on Feb 28, Murugan moved HC for travel documents from Sri Lankan deputy high commission in Chennai. As per court orders, the trio was escorted to deputy commission on March 13.

Now that necessary travel documents have been issued, it is to be seen if they will be deported to Sri Lanka as informed by state govt, or they will move court again to avoid being sent to Lanka. Murugan has already made it clear that he faced threat to his life in Sri Lanka and that he would seek asylum in the UK and would strive to be allowed to leave for the UK from India itself.

He has already applied for a UK visa with his wife Nalini, who is an Indian citizen. While she has already attended the visa interview and is awaiting a decision by the UK, Murugan could not attend the interview as he lacked the travel papers.

Source: The Times of India

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