As the Tamil Nadu government awaits a formal word from the Centre on President Pratiba Patil rejecting mercy petitions of three LTTE activists involved in Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, mother of one of the accused, Perarivalan, arrived in Delhi to plead for his son’s life.
Seventy-year-old K Arputham said, “My son was falsely implicated by the CBI. He was in no way part of the conspiracy to kill Rajiv Gandhi and does not deserve a death penalty.” She was in New Delhi to release the Hindi version of her son’s book ‘An appeal from the death row’ by CPI general secretary A B Bardhan.
On May 21, 1991, the LTTE had used a woman suicide bomber to blow up Rajiv Gandhi at an election rally at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu. Perarivalan’s role in the assassination, according to the charge sheet, is helping another accused Sivarjan by purchasing two battery cells for the “human bomb” that killed Gandhi. “My son (Perarivalan) was falsely implicated by the CBI,” Arputham said.
MDMK leader Vaiko, who is running a campaign to save Perarivalan, and two others, was also present along with Arputham to plead for commuting their death sentence to life imprisonment. Arputham’s plea is that if then-President K R Nayaranan could commute the sentence of Nalini, the first accused, why couldn’t the current President do the same for her son, the 18th accused. She said Congress president Sonia Gandhi had recommended commuting of the sentence even for her son.
Arputham referred to her son’s book, in which Perarivalan held that the CBI’s case was that he helped in the assembly of the “belt-bomb” but senior CBI officer Ragothaman, who probed the case, had said in his book that the “puzzle” behind the “assembler” was still “unresolved” by the CBI.