Chennai: A G Perarivalan, alias Arivu, one of the convicts in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, walked off from Chennai’s Puzhal prison on Tuesday, a week after the Supreme Court ordered his release. He had to remain in jail for 31 years and was granted bail by the Apex Court on the pleas of the Tamil Nadu government. He was arrested on June 11, 1991.
The moment he stepped out of jail, happiness knew no bounds in his mother’s face, Arputham Ammal. She thanked the judiciary and other well-wishers for providing all kinds of support for the release of her son. Out of 31 years in jail, Perarivalan spent 26 years in prison without parole.
She, however, said actual freedom was yet to come. I request everyone to be aware of this. We need your support until my son gets complete freedom,” she said, thanking a number of people, including Chief Minister M K Stalin, opposition leader Edappadi K Palaniswami and all parties in the state who supported her.
The Supreme Court had earlier said that the Tamil Nadu governor was bound by the decision of the state cabinet on the release of Perarivalan and disapproved of his action, sending a mercy plea to the President, saying it could not shut its eyes to something against the Constitution.
SC rejects centre’s suggestion
Earlier, the top court rejected the Centre’s proposal that the court should wait for the President’s nod on this issue.
It had told the Centre that the governor was bound by the aid and advice given by the Tamil Nadu Council of Ministers under Article 161 of the Constitution while directing the Centre to submit its response.
A rebirth for Perarivalan as he came out of the prison alone without policemen. He was taken into custody in June 1991 by the CBI for questioning amidst the Rajiv Gandhi assassination. At that time, he was just 19 years old.
Perarivalan’s story is like a Bollywood story when a prisoner meets his relatives and friends after spending several decades behind bars.