The Weekend Leader - The undying dream

Rajiv assassination case convict still swears by Tamil Eelam



Vol 2 | Issue 43

Perarivalan alias Arivu, one of the three death row convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, still remains hopeful that someday in the future Tamil Eelam will be achieved.

The Hindu reported Sunday: “Asked about the dreams he had over the years, Arivu said that though his life was in limbo after the arrest, the lives of his family, friends and others he knew had changed.”

A bike rally in Tamil Nadu calling for abolition of death penalty (Photo: Nathan G)

Arivu told the daily, “I don’t remember the face of many of the people I knew. I remember the street and the town I lived as it was in 1991. So, the dreams were either irrelevant or prison - centric.

“But the only dream we always cherish and hope to achieve is Tamil Eelam.”

Arivu also told the paper: “There is no evidence I knew about the conspiracy (to kill Rajiv Gandhi) or that Sivarasan, Subha or Dhanu told me about it. There is enough material in the investigation report which proves that I had no knowledge of the conspiracy.”

The Hindu reported that Arivu was wearing “a white T-shirt and trousers and also a broad smile most of the time,” when their correspondent met him the day before Diwali.

The 39-year-old, who has been in prison for over 20 years, told the paper: “My conscience is clear... I have suffered enough for no fault of mine. The investigators know that I was falsely implicated in this case.”

The Madras High Court has stayed the execution of all three death row convicts - Arivu, Santhan and Muruganin - in the Rajiv assassination case, who have sought commutation of their death sentence to life term citing the President’s inordinate delay of 11 long years to dispose of their mercy pleas. – TWL Bureau

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