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Convict in Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Case Attacked by Inmate, Condition Stable

File photo of Rajiv Gandhi.

File photo of Rajiv Gandhi.

Rajiv Gandhi was killed by a suicide bomber at nearby Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991 and seven persons-- Murugan, Santhan, Perarivalan, Nalini, Robert Payas, Jayakumar and Ravichandran, were convicted in the case.

Poornima Murali
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Vellore: One of the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi Assassination case AG Perarivalan, was attacked by a fellow inmate at the Vellore Central Prison for men on Tuesday morning.

The inmate Rajesh Khanna attacked the 44-year-old with an iron rod inside the cell. Perarivalan sustained head injuries and was immediately rushed to the hospital inside the prison.

Jail authority sources say Rajesh Khanna was creating trouble in the block where Perarivalan stayed and prison inmates filed a complaint against him.

Following this, jail authorities shifted Rajesh Khanna out of the block on Monday evening.

Sources said since Perarivalan was the senior most prisoner, Rajesh Khanna assumed that he was the one who complained against him, and subsequently beat him.

It may be noted that Rajesh Khanna, the attacker is serving a life term in a case of kidnapping and murder.

Perarivalan's mother Arputham Ammal met her son on Tuesday afternoon.

Speaking to CNN News 18, she said, "My son said the two of them were talking casually when the attacker suddenly hit him. My son said Rajesh had some issues with the jail authorities and Rajesh showed his anger on my son."

When asked if her son and Rajesh Khanna stayed in the same cell, she said, "They don't stay in the same cell. Rajesh stays in the opposite block. This morning, he went to meet my son and suddenly attacked him."

She broke down saying, "I thought my son is safe inside the prison. But if such things happen, what happens to his safety. I'm going to apply for his parole. I will write to Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa on this. I want my son back."

Perarivalan has been imprisoned in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case for 25 years.

Activists from various organisations had on June 11 conducted a motorcycle rally from Vellore Prison to the Secretariat to mark Perarivalan's completion of 25 years inside the prison and demanded his release along with 6 other convicts.

Arputham Ammal had written to the Chief Minister urging her to take measures to release all the convicts in the case.

Rajiv Gandhi was killed by a suicide bomber at nearby Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991 and seven persons-- Murugan, Santhan, Perarivalan, Nalini, Robert Payas, Jayakumar and Ravichandran, were convicted in the case.

Nalini's death sentence was commuted to life in 2000 following a cabinet recommendation and appeal by Rajiv's wife, Sonia Gandhi.


The Supreme Court had commuted the death sentence of Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan in February 2014 following delay in deciding on their mercy plea.

The Tamil Nadu government had in March this year decided to remit the sentences of all the seven convicts.

However, the matter soon went to the Supreme Court and is pending there, with the Central government questioning the State's powers to grant remission to them on specific grounds.

(With inputs from PTI)


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