April 16, BBC News

Priyanka Gandhi, daughter of former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, says she has met a woman serving a jail term for her father's assassination.

Ms Gandhi said she met Nalini Sriharan last month in a prison in Vellore in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

Rajiv Gandhi was killed by a suicide bomb in May 1991 while he addressed an election rally. India has always blamed the attack on Tamil Tiger rebels.

Sriharan was convicted for being part of the assassination squad.

She was initially given a death sentence along with three others.

But her sentence was changed into a life term, following a plea for clemency by Rajiv Gandhi's widow and Congress Party president, Sonia Gandhi.

Mrs Gandhi appealed on Sriharan's behalf because she had a young child.

Correspondents say Priyanka Gandhi's visit is highly significant because her father's murder shocked India and turned many people in Tamil Nadu and elsewhere against the Tamil Tigers.

In 2006, they expressed "regret" for the murder in a move which correspondents say was a realisation by the rebels that the assassination was a huge mistake.

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photo: Ms Gandhi said her visit was 'completely personal' (BBC)