One of the convicts in Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Case, AG Perarivalan, has finally been released from prison after 31 years. The Supreme Court gave the verdict to release Perarivalan based on its extraordinary power under Article 142. This order by the SC give hope that other convicts in the case could also be released. Six other convicts have been booked under the case including Nalini Sriharan and her Sri Lankan husband Murugan.
Just a few hours after the order Perarivalan addressed the media people from in front of his residence in Jolarpettai, Tamil Nadu. He light-heartedly greeted the reporters saying, “I have just come out..I need to breathe!” He gave credit for his release to his mother’s struggle over the years, who didn’t give up and kept fighting in courts for her son. “She has faced lots of humiliations, insult, and pain over these years. Despite that, she has fought for justice for 31 years. The honesty in (this) case was what gave both of us the strength to fight this battle. The verdict is a victory for her struggle,” Perarivalan said.
Several political leaders have expressed their support towards the SC order, saying that the justice system is fair and the decision must be upheld. Bharatiya Janata Party’s state president K Annamalai also tweeted about the release.
Perarivalan was just 19 when the assassination happened in 1991. He was charged in the case for buying two 9-volt batteries for Sivarasan, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) man, who is said to be the mastermind of the assassination. The batteries were used in the bomb that killed Rajiv Gandhi.