Perarivalan’s case: Justice delayed or justice denied?

I read a few notes online recently, written by AG Perarivalan. If you don’t know Perarivalan, he is a convict in the Rajiv Gandhi murder case, currently an inmate at Vellore prison, awaiting his turn to go to the gallows. In these notes, Perarivalan tries his best to prove his innocence by explaining  how he was handled when put behind the bars. He says he was not allowed the rights even a convict is allowed to have elsewhere. I strongly decry this treatment by our police and want to see justice done in the end. If Perarivalan and co. are innocent, they should go scot free. Else they should be hanged until the last breath leaves them.
The writings of this man, who was just 19 when he was caught, amazed me. The impact of the words is so strong that you will inadvertently choose to be on his side. But I am miffed with a few things about Perarivalan. First of all, the usage of the word Tamilian in his writings and the support that he draws from Tamil Nadu, all for the same word. I wonder why Tamil sentiments are being exploited in this issue. A convict is a convict, not a Tamilian or a Malayali. It is high time we threw away our views biased by religion and region. For me, Rajiv Gandhi does not mean much. But there is no denying the fact that he was an elected Indian prime minister. Our blood boiled when we heard the hanging of Saddam Hussein, who was the chief of his own country. The same “we” do not seem to be one when it is a matter concerning our land. We can’t be this frivolous. On the one hand we demand the hanging of Afzal Guru and on the other hand we want to protect Perarivalan, Murugan, and Santhan. I believe 90% of those who support or oppose do not know the facts. They just go by what their mind says. Perarivalan has good knowledge of the laws applicable in his case and is well read on topics that help regain focus and confidence. It is confounding to note that a man who had the liberty to read and write in jail could not sound off about his innocence all these years. Now that the mercy petition is rejected by the Indian President, maybe they (including the forces behind, if any) are using online campaigns as a last recourse.
In the writings published online, there is no real intent by Perarivalan to prove his innocence by reason. He gives anecdotes of the treatment he got after he was taken into custody. He does not seem to give an account of his relationship or ‘no-relationship’ with the other convicts. But there is an intentional attempt to say that all of the convicts are clean-handed. From what I understood, the demand of the advocates of the convicts was to commute the death sentence to life imprisonment. Life imprisonment does not, in any way, mean that the person is innocent. There is another view that 20 years is a long time for a person to be in clink, and that it is not fair to terminate the person’s life after giving him only trouble for those two decades. So, in all likeliness, 17 years down the road, there will be more people to run an online campaign to save Ajmal Kasab from the gibbet. Truth should prevail, in Perarivalan’s case, and everyone else’s.

20 thoughts on “Perarivalan’s case: Justice delayed or justice denied?

  1. Well thought out and written, buddy! I think however strong maybe his writings, truth should prevail and the guilty should be punished.How much is punishment enough, sadly differs from person to person. For some probably even death isn't punishment enough.


  2. @Srijith Unni:

    Exactly! There is no real intent from this man to prove his innocence. I expected something like that. But he tries to exploit regional sentiments to draw support. He gets enormous support now.


  3. @Rajesh:

    Thanks for your comments. If the light is snuffed out in your room, it is foolish to believe that the whole world is in dark. Just have a relook on the grounds in which the term Tamil is used in it. To make it more clear, what is the real need (or use) of using the word Tamil in the 1st, 4th, 27th, and 31st search results? The whole of the Tamil Nadu assembly stood by him. Don't you think it is a conscious effort to save a man because he is a Tamilian? Such kind of unity is alarming.

    What is the solid proof his supporters have? Why don't they approach the court and take it legally rather than trying to bring in more support and standing away from the laws?

    I would be only glad if I am 'proved' wrong.


  4. Sorry for my late follow up…

    Below, I'm copy-pasting the “problematic” texts for others to decide. Let them decide between yours and the texts.

    Personally, I've lived in Munnar, been to Trivandrum, Calicut and Bangalore. I've racially profiled in all these places (including been dropped in bus on the way to REC in Calicut). Also, I'm used to watch Asianet, Kairali, Mathrubhumi. So, I can boldly tell you that, even if there's any Tamil sentiments, it must not be compared with any of these places. MGR, Jayalalithaa, Vijayakanth, Arya, Jeeva, Jesudas, Chitra, M.S.Viswanathan, genocide in Sri Lanka, etc are huge examples [sic] for “Tamil sentiments”. Majority of Perarivalan supporters are human rights people.

    Here's the “problematic” things highlighted by you:

    Some time back Kadhir Bargeer, the police inspector…, committed suicide out of mental frustration…he wrote…letter “…I implicated Arumugam, an innocent Tamil picking rags and prepared false evidence. I feel pained…”
    (Under Foreword of Dr. S. Ramadoss)

    A nightingale of freedom which was singing the anthem of rights of the Tamil race has been imprisoned in a case and its miserable plight is heart-rending.
    (Under Foreword of VAIKO)

    I did not know about TADA act. Not only for me, for all the people in Tamil Nadu, TADA was new at that time.
    (Perarivalan explains that TADA was new to people of Tamil Nadu)

    Show Mercy to the four Tamils – Appeal with Blood Signaturers – Bangalore, Dec' 1999
    (Photo caption for a campaign held in Bangalore)


  5. @Rajesh:

    Thanks for coming back and posting your views.

    You never know, without enough and solid evidences; that's the problem.

    You know the Abhaya case, right. A policeman named Michael (who sided with the culprits once) commited suicide. But their is a strong belief that it was a murder. That means, the view “out of regret” totally depends on how you interpret the suicide/murder. Also check when the person (in Perarivalan's case) committed suicide. How long did he carry the regret?

    Don't stand by Vaiko and give your thoughts. Everybody in South India knows the man and his deeds and motives. One can only laugh when someone stands by Vaiko and echoes his sentiments and statements. That statement itself is absurd. There is no Tamil race or separate justice for them. There is only man, or at the narrowest level Indians. Nothing else needs to be considered in this case.

    As per our law, ignorance of the law is never an excuse. That sums it up.

    Appeal with blood signatures? Anybody can do it. I mean anybody!

    These are not enough reasons to believe Perarivalan is innocent. Come with something solid, clear, evident. I shall support you. As of now, he is a culprit.


  6. @Sreejith : What is the solid proof do you have to make him a convict? Even the court has Arivu's Statement given to the CBI(read again.. not in the court. The stmt was given by Arivu bcas of the Torture of the CBI which is clearly mentioned in the book where there are 31 occurrences of the word Tamil), which can be accepted only based on TADA. But SC denied the applicability of TADA in this case. Why the SC 'released' most of the 26 who were given Death Sentence. Read again.. even there was no reduction in the punishment but most of them were released.

    Even if the death sentnce to Arivu was given based on his own statement. Could you tell one single reason for him to deny his involvement??

    You want to brand him as a Convict just because you are a 'mallu'


  7. Sateesh: Perarivalan is not asking the court to exonerate him. If he did not have any hand in this, he should have asked to set him free. You are showing your regional colours again by calling me a mallu. A Malayali never protests that way. He thinks logically and takes a decision based on that. Update your knowledge on other people, or correct yourself.


  8. 'mallu' word came just because of the 'tamil' word.

    Perarivalan is asking to set him free. He is not the Guilty. If you really feel that, please let me know for what reasons you want him to hang personally.


  9. Sateesh: It has been a good 20 years since Perarivalan was booked. Even after having advocates to argue his case, why did Perarivalan fail to prove his innocence? You think the judges are also anti-Tamil? Don't blabber that he is asking for a permission to go free. His advocate commented that he was asking for commuting the death sentence to life imprisonment. What do you think is the crime that Perarivalan did which would make his qualify for a life imprisonment?

    The whole of the Tamil Nadu state assembly expressed their solidarity to him, in the house. Why not even a single person contested this stand? If Perarivalan's role is so transparent that all the politicians of the state could accept his innocence, why couldn't the judges be convinced? And the same politicians who reached that conclusion by “studying every aspect” of the case do not take any humanitarian stand in the Mullaperiyar case? Doesn't that sound fishy? That means, the support to Perarivalan is all based on regional feelings, and nothing else. You may please go and teach these to someone who cannot connect things and think.


  10. “You want to brand him as a Convict just because you are a 'mallu'”
    This is terrible. You are speaking like a fanatic muslim from pakistan, who will blow up the world, because people disagree with his views. There are many views. If he was innocent, he should have proved thus, instead of writing long, boring, sad, lousy, and regional sentiments stirring nonsense.


  11. Are you crazy? You say I wrote this because I am a Malayali. And then you say I am like a fanatic Pakistani muslim! How can one be a Malayali and a Pakistani muslim at the same time? You say about regional sentiments and try to make religious sentiments? The problem is in your attitude towards other religions. What is the problem with Muslims? You don't think properly. All you do is vouch for a terrorist who killed a country's prime minister. At least that is where the legal system stands right now. This guy was allowed to complete his studies from jail and how can one even imagine that he was not given a fair trial? You and many others try to work out Tamil sentiments, without even thinking that India is a much larger picture than your petty Tamil sentiments. Other than blabbering, what proof do you have to claim that he is innocent? If it existed, why didn't he produce that in court? Think!


  12. Mr Sreejith, All the convictions on Perarivalan and other two is just to close the case by covering up the actual culprits of the RG's killing.

    Read more :

    There are unanswered questions behind the killing of RG. And it was for the 'National' Benefit and that of the 'National Politics' and finally blames was on LTTE.

    It should be a true statement that there were Tamil's hands on Killing of RG. But who used those hands? Why they were not accused. Do you have answers?

    How can one accuse an 'innocent' for purchasing 12v battery? Is capital punishment right for his 'involvement' in the killing?


  13. @Sateesh: If that is the case, why can't you go to the court and prove it rather than just making allegations on the internet? Can that save your man? The answer is an emphatic NO. It is easier to make guesses but what stands in the end are proofs. Looks like you will still hold on to this theory even if he is hanged. If it was just the battery and nothing else, do you think an educated person like a judge would heed to such bullshit? Come on, say something logical.


  14. Why do you think Indian people showed their anger when Saddam Hussein died? And why would they ?He was cruel enough to be hanged in public .Perarivalan is doing what he thinks is right .If he knows the Law that well , as you mentioned then when providing help to the assassins of the then Prime Minister ,didn't he was unaware of the fact that he could be jailed or hanged?


  15. Hi Sreejith,
    Its interesting to read all the comments,im from Tamil nadu I have friends from all region, even I like mallu people food and I have mallu friends,I can really understand that if Arivu is innocent defently his statement should be accepted by the Indian court, But there are many gray areas in this case, from my perception only few Indian politician,cbi and the convict knew the true and media plays huge drama and you think that you are highly neutral guy but I don’t know what the name panicker means,if you justify your name in any form than arivu has all the rights to justify his innocence in any way.
    Better change your name so you can change you’r taught.
    Else go to dustbin.
    Thanks and warm regards,


  16. Are you a joker or what? You ask me to change the name for this? If you had the mettle, you could have gone to the Supreme Court and proved the innocents of the culprits. Just don't blabber nonsense here.


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