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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 March 2007, 16:33 GMT
Gandhi killers in court victory
By LR Jagadheesan
BBC News, Madras

Nalini  was convicted for murder
Megara's mother, Nalini, will spend her life in jail
A court in India has said the daughter of a couple jailed over the killing of former PM Rajiv Gandhi should be allowed into the country to visit them.

Judges in Tamil Nadu state gave the federal government four weeks to issue an entry permit to the girl, who is 15.

Megara was born in jail but allowed to leave India as a young girl, since when she has seen her parents once, in 2006.

Her father is on death row for plotting the 1991 assassination. Her mother's sentence was commuted to life in jail.

It is open for the Indian government to decide the issue of cessation of the citizenship
Madras High Court

Mr Gandhi was opposition leader at the time of his death, and had been campaigning in Tamil Nadu in the run-up to a general election.

India blamed a Tamil Tiger suicide bomber. The rebels expressed "regret" for the killing last year.

Indian courts are still seeking Tamil Tiger leader Prabhakaran and rebel intelligence chief Pottu Amman in relation to the assassination.

Megara's parents were convicted of helping plot the killing. Two others were tried and sentenced to death for the killing, while another three received life terms.

Citizenship refused

Megara was born in jail in Madras (Chennai) in January 1992. When she left a few years later, she went to live with her grandparents in Sri Lanka.

Rajiv Gandhi

Since she left India as a young child, Megara's nationality has become a subject of litigation in the Indian courts.

Her mother, Nalini, is Indian. But because her father, Murugan, is Sri Lankan, Megara was given a Sri Lankan passport.

Megara's parents argue she is an Indian citizen by birth, but the Indian authorities refuse to accept the claim.

They say when Megara left India, she opted for Sri Lankan citizenship based on her father's nationality.

For years Indian officials refused to allow Megara to visit her parents in jail.

But following a lengthy legal battle she was allowed to see them in January 2006.

Now judges in the Madras High Court have ruled she is entitled to enter India, but it is up to the government to decide the issue of citizenship.

Gandhi killers taken to hospital
13 Jul 06 |  South Asia
Tamil Tiger 'regret' over Gandhi
27 Jun 06 |  South Asia
Gandhi fever in Indian heartlands
22 Mar 04 |  South Asia
Rajiv Gandhi cleared over bribery
04 Feb 04 |  South Asia
Tamil Nadu demands Tiger extradition
16 Apr 02 |  South Asia
Clemency for Gandhi assassin
25 Apr 00 |  South Asia

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