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Perarivalan, Convict in Rajiv Gandhi Case Gets Parole Extension

The court directed the Tamil Nadu government to provide police protection to Perarivalan during his hospital visits.

Published
India
2 min read
A file photo of Perarivalan, serving life sentence in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, being brought to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) for medical examination in Chennai on 8 June 2015. 
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Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict AG Perarivalan has been granted an extended parole for medical check-up, by the Supreme Court.

In a hearing on Monday, the court directed the Tamil Nadu government to provide police protection to him during his hospital visits.

Perarivalan, on 12 November, had walked out of a Tamil Nadu prison on a-month-long parole till 23 November, to visit his ailing father and attend his niece’s marriage ceremonies.

Perarivalan is at present serving life sentence in relation to the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, along with six other convicts. He had filed a plea seeking an early release and for the past three decades, his mother Arputhammal has been rallying in defence of her son.

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‘No Connection Between Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency & Perarivalan's Release’

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had told the Supreme Court that convict A.G. Perarivalan has nothing to do with the further investigation conducted by its Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA) into the “larger conspiracy” behind the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991.

The VCK and PMK on Sunday had urged Governor Banwarilal Purohit to expedite his release, as the CBI had clarified in court that there is no connection with the Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency probe and Perarivalan’s release.

“It is not just of the Governor to extensively delay a decision and it would be an act of disrespect to Constitution of India,” VCK President Thol Thirumavalavan said.

PMK founder Dr S Ramadoss also tweeted urging the Governor to take a final call immediately.

Perarivalan’s Connect to the Assassination

At the time of his arrest, on 18 June 1991, Perarivalan was just 20 years old.

Perarivalan was accused of purchasing two 9-volt Golden Power batteries and handing them over to Sivarasan, an LTTE leader, which was used in the belt bomb that was used to kill Rajiv Gandhi.

Perarivalan had confessed to buying the batteries but had told that he was not aware of its purpose. However, the crucial latter part of this confession was omitted by Thiagarajan, a former CBI Officer who had recorded Perarivalan’s statement. The CBI officer had confessed to this in 2017 that triggered many to come out in support of Arputhammal’s fight to release her son Perarivalan.

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Signature Still Awaited from Governor

This comes amidst a lot of rallying by political parties to release him and other convicts serving a life sentence. The ball is now in the Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit’s court to decide whether or not to release Perarivalan, who is in his late forties now.

In December 2015, Perarivalan had applied to the Governor for pardon. Three years later, in September 2018, the Supreme Court asked the Governor to decide the pardon plea as he “deemed fit”. The Tamil Nadu Cabinet had then recommended to the Governor to remit Perarivalan's sentence and forward his release.

However, the recommendation by the state has still not been signed by the Governor.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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