TN: CM MK Stalin meets Rajiv Gandhi's assassin Perarivalan, mother
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Wednesday raised many eyebrows after he hosted unusual guests in Chennai. The CM met AG Perarivalan, one of the seven convicts in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, and his mother Arputhammal. Perarivalan, whose release was ordered by the Supreme Court, praised the chief minister for his efforts in facilitating his release.
- Perarivalan's release came just three days before the 31st death anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi.
- The trial court had already sentenced all of the suspects in the assassination case to death, which was affirmed by the Supreme Court too.
- However, the delay in taking a decision on their mercy requests to the president rescued them from the gallows.
Soon after the meeting, CM Stalin tweeted a video with the mother-son duo and wrote a pleasant message for the family. "I met brother Perarivalan, who has returned after over 30 years in prison. I asked brother Perarivalan and Arputhammal to set up a home life for themselves and live happily (sic)," reads a rough translation of the caption in Tamil.
30 ஆண்டுகளுக்கும் மேலான சிறைவாசத்தை வென்று திரும்பியுள்ள சகோதரர் பேரறிவாளன் அவர்களைச் சந்தித்துக் கட்டியணைத்து நெகிழ்ந்தேன்!— M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) May 18, 2022
சகோதரர் பேரறிவாளன் தனக்கென இல்லற வாழ்க்கையை அமைத்துக்கொண்டு மகிழ்ச்சியாக வாழ வேண்டுமென அவரையும் அற்புதம்மாள் அவர்களையும் கேட்டுக் கொண்டேன். pic.twitter.com/M0sOXsYkop
The case of Perarivalan and other convicts involves sensitivities in Tamil Nadu and unites Stalin's party DMK and its rival AIADMK. Dravidian politics also carry a sympathy for the cause of Lankan Tamils. Notably, Perarivalan has been behind bars for 31 years. His release with other convicts was recommended by the past governments also but successive governors could not arrive at a decision.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the release of Perarivalan, who is a life-term convict and served over 30 years in jail in the case. A bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao invoked the extraordinary power under Article 142 to release Perarivalan. On March 9, the SC had granted him bail while taking note of his long incarceration and good conduct.
Critics questioned the judgment, claiming that it might open the door for the release of six other inmates in the case, including Nalini Sriharan and her husband Murugan, a Sri Lankan national. Congress has voiced sorrow and outrage and termed it a sad day for the country. Party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said every Indian who believes in the country is disappointed by the decision.