Congress president Rahul Gandhi has no objection to the release of Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convict A G Perarivalan, top Tamil film director P A Ranjith said today. The director, after his meeting with the Congress chief in New Delhi, said he sought Rahul Gandhi’s views on Perarivalan’s release and if he had any objection to it.
“I made a request on Perarivalan’s release and I sought his (Rahul Gandhi) view. I asked him if he has any objection. He said he has no objection. If needed, he said he was willing to extend help for his release,” Ranjith told PTI. Describing Perarivalan’s incarceration as a “thing of pain,” the director said he is an “ordinary man who has been languishing in jail for 27 years for buying a battery.” At the end of discussion (with Rahul Gandhi), “it suddenly struck me that I should make this request,” he said.
The director also referred to his meeting with Arputhammal, mother of Perarivalan, who has been championing the cause of her son’s release for many years now. The director lauded the Congress president for “a very good, transparent conversation.” Asked if any references cropped up about the six other convicts in the case, Ranjith answered in the negative.
In a tweet, Rahul Gandhi said, “I met film director P A Ranjith the man behind blockbuster films like ‘Madras’, ‘Kabali’ and ‘Kaala’ and actor Kalaiyarasan, in Delhi yesterday. We talked about politics, films and society. I enjoyed the interaction and look forward to continuing our dialogue.” Ranjith made his directorial debut with a romantic comedy ‘Attakathi’ before going on to make the political drama ‘Madras’ and the Rajinikanth starrers ‘Kabali’ and ‘Kaala.’
The Supreme Court had on March 14 dismissed Perarivalan’s plea in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case seeking recall of the May 1999 verdict upholding his conviction. The apex court had said the materials brought on record before it does not inspire confidence to interfere with the May 11, 1999 verdict in which Perarivalan and three others were initially awarded death sentence which was later commuted to life term.
A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi, R Banumathi and M M Shantanagoudar, however, had kept the main petition of 45-year-old Perarivalan pending in which he has sought suspension of his life sentence in the case till completion of the probe by CBI-led Multi Disciplinary Monitoring Agency into the larger conspiracy behind the assassination. Perarivalan was last year granted 30-day parole by the Tamil Nadu government for the first time since his incarceration in 1991. Former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on the night of May 21 1991, at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu by a woman suicide bomber, identified as Dhanu, at a poll rally.