CHENNAI: A petition has been filed in the Madras High Court by the niece of Murugan, a life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, claiming the latter was determined to attain "jeeva samadhi" (a ritual of fasting unto death) in a Vellore prison and seeking its intervention to save him.
In her habeas corpus petition, the woman, Thenmozhi, has also sought permission to meet her uncle Murugan alias Sriharan, who has reportedly been on a fast for the last few days.
Citing various news reports that Murugan was determined to attain "jeeva samadhi", the petitioner has said it is the duty of the prison authorities to save his life.
The petition says Murugan has been in the prison for the last 26 years.
The prison authorities rejected her August 22 representation, seeking to meet Murugan, Thenmozhi has said in the petition, claiming that even Murugan's wife Nalini, a co-convict in the case, was also not allowed to meet him.
Praying to the court to allow her to meet her uncle, she has also sought a direction to the authorities to save his life.
Murugan, an LTTE cadre, was initially sentenced to death, along with five others, in the case of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi's assassination by an LTTE suicide bomber at nearby Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991.
The Supreme Court had, in 2014, commuted the sentence of Murugan and two others to life imprisonment, citing the delay in deciding on their mercy plea.
Nalini is also serving a life term after her death sentence was commuted by the Tamil Nadu government.