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Perarivalan release: Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin terms Supreme Court order ‘historic’, ally Congress differs

Commenting on Perarivalan’s mother Arputhammal, Stalin said she was an example of motherhood and showed how far a mother can go to dispel injustice committed against her child.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin with AG Perarivalan and his mother Arputhammal, at the Chennai airport on Wednesday. (Twitter @CMOTamilnadu)

The Supreme Court (SC) Wednesday ordered the release of AG Perarivalan, one of the convicts in former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

Following the development, most political leaders in Perarivalan’s home state Tamil Nadu welcomed the apex court’s decision.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin congratulated AG Perarivalan on his release.

Addressing media persons, Stalin said the Supreme Court order was a historic one. He noted that the DMK had promised to make efforts for the release of Rajiv Gandhi case convicts in its manifesto.

“The order will be remembered in history not just for an individual named Perarivalan, but for establishing the federal philosophy and autonomy of the state,” Stalin said. He added that Supreme Court judges have clearly mentioned while hearing Perarivalan’s release petition that the governor has no authority to intervene in the decision of the state government.

Stalin said the youngster spent 32 years behind the bars but would finally be able to breathe freely. Commenting on Perarivalan’s mother Arputhammal, he said she was an example of motherhood and showed how far a mother can go to dispel injustice committed against her child.

“Although it is a delayed one, the judgment will be remembered in history,” Stalin added

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When asked about the state government’s stand on the remaining six convicts, Stalin said they haven’t got the full details of the judgment yet and once they receive them in a day or two, the government will hold discussions with advocates and try to secure the release of the remaining convicts.

On the other hand, the state’s main Opposition party AIADMK listed down the efforts taken by it to help free persons convicted in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.


In a joint statement, party leaders Edappadi K Palanisami and O Pannerselvam said Perarivalan’s release was a victory for the vision of late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa.

“We would like to remind that in February 2014, Puratchithalaivi Amma said that if the central government doesn’t take measures to release Perarivalan and six others based on the resolution passed by the state assembly, the AIADMK government would release them,” the statement read.

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The AIADMK leadership also urged the Supreme Court to release the remaining six convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan took to Twitter and said the ‘injustice’ meted out to Perarivalan has been finally remedied. He asked what punishment the law was going to provide to those responsible for Perarivalan’s misery. He also asked what steps the Centre was going to take to rehabilitate Perarivalan.


Actor and Makkal Needhi Maiam leader Kamal Haasan said Perarivalan was behind the bars for over three decades, which is longer than a life sentence. He added that the governments blamed each other over the ‘injustice’ suffered by Perarivalan, whereas the Supreme Court has come forward and released him.

Tamil Nadu BJP leader K Annamalai welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court. “We also hope that the Supreme Court will not allow us to compromise our unity, security and integrity,” he tweeted.

The Congress, an ally of the ruling DMK, however, differed with the other parties on Perarivalan’s release.

“The Supreme Court only provided punishment to people who murdered former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. By pointing out a few legal nuances, the same court has now released Perarivalan. We don’t want to criticise the decision of the Supreme Court. At the same time, we would like to strongly convey that the convicts (in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case) are murderers and they are not innocent,” Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president KS Alagiri said in a statement.

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He further said that some people were empathising with the convicts of the Rajiv Gandhi case just because they were Tamils.

“Several hundred Tamils are behind the bars for more than 20 years, why is no one raising their voice to release them? Are they not Tamils? Is it that only those who killed Rajiv Gandhi are Tamils?” Alagiri asked.

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He said Congress workers will cover their mouth with a white cloth and carry a placard with the message, “We will oppose violence, murder cannot be the solution for difference of opinion”, in Chennai Thursday between 10-11am to express their opinion on the Supreme Court verdict.

Following the Supreme Court order, Perarivalan and members of his family were seen embracing each other in celebration. Addressing the reporters at his residence in Jolarpettai in Tamil Nadu, Perarivalan said: “She (Arputhammal) has faced humiliation, insult and pain over these years. Despite that, she has fought for justice for 31 years. The verdict is a victory of her struggle.”


When asked what he would like to do in life, Perarivalan said, “I have just come out. It has been 31 years of legal battle, I have to breathe, give me some time.”

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Quoting a Thirukkural couplet, Perarivalan said the law of nature is that the “good shall live and the evil should fall.”

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Perarivalan also thanked his family and friends for being a constant source of support. “I think it is very rare to have relationships of this sort. Their love and affection have only brought me this far. This is not our fight alone, so many people are behind this. They have fought for us. Whenever possible, I will visit each and every one and thank them,” he added.

First published on: 18-05-2022 at 07:56:06 pm
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