Rajiv Gandhi murder accomplice wins Indian citizenship for daughter

CHENNAI, India, March 8, 2007 (AFP) – An Indian woman convicted along with her Sri Lankan husband in the 1991 killing of former premier Rajiv Gandhi has secured Indian citizenship for their daughter.

A court in the southern state of Tamil Nadu on Wednesday gave the federal government four weeks to issue an entry permit to the 15-year-old girl, who has faced difficulties visiting her parents in jail, officials said.

The girl was born while her mother was in an Indian jail. She lived in the jail with her mother until the age of six, after which prison rules said she had to leave and she was raised by her grandmother in Sri Lanka.

Megara, who holds a Sri Lankan passport, visited her mother in jail in 2004 and in 2006, but overstayed her visa during her last trip.

Authorities have since refused to allow Megara to enter the country, prompting her mother to ask that she be recognised as an Indian citizen.

The girl’s mother Nalini, an Indian, was sentenced to life imprisonment and her father, Murugan, a Sri Lankan Tamil, is appealing a death sentence. Both are known only by one name.

They were convicted of conspiracy in the assassination of Gandhi by a Tamil Tiger suicide