Mother of one of Rajiv`s killers demands trial

She alleged her son was falsely implicated in the case and that he was not at all involved in the crime.

Last Updated: Aug 12, 2011, 23:18 PM IST

Chennai: With President Pratibha Patil
rejecting the clemency petitions of three killers of former
Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, the mother of one of them today
demanded a `fresh and transparent trial` and claimed her son
was not at all connected with it.

"While A1 (prime accused) Nalini`s punishment was reduced
to life imprisonment from death, why can`t the same be applied
to my son (Perarivalan) who is only 18th accused?" Arputham
Ammal told reporters here.

She alleged her son was falsely implicated in the case and
that he was not at all involved in the crime.

Suspecting conspiracy in the trial, she wanted to know why
it was handled `very secretly` by the authorities. "After all,
a former Prime Minister has been murdered. So what was the
need to keep the investigation a secret?"

She also wanted to how there were exactly 13 Sri Lankan
Tamils and 13 Indian Tamils of the 26 found guilty by a local
court in Poonamallee in 1998."The same trend continued even in
the final four awarded death sentence by Supreme Court. Two
are Sri Lankan Tamils and two are Indian Tamils," she said.

"When the Investigating Officer Ragothaman himself in his
book has said they are still clueless on who made the belt
bomb, how can they hold my son guilty for buying a 9V battery
which they allege was used to make the bomb"? she said.

Ammal said she planned to meet Chief Minister Jayalalithaa
to plead her case as "she can understand a mother`s feeling
better". She also plans to picket against capital punishment.

The accused were arrested in 1991. The Supreme Court in
1999 confirmed the death sentence of the four, including
Nalini, whose sentence was later commuted to life.

The death sentences of the three men--Murugan, Santhan
and Perarivalan-- were confirmed by Supreme Court in 2000.
Nalini`s capital punishment was commuted to life by the apex
court.

The three men and Nalini belonged to Liberation Tigers of
Tamil Elam and were convicted for assassination of Rajiv
Gandhi in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu on May 21, 1991.

The three men, charged with criminal conspiracy and
execution of the suicide attack plot, had filed a mercy
petition before the President after the apex court confirmed
the sentence.

The Home Ministry had sent its opinion on June 21, 2005,
which was called back for review on February 23, 2011, and was
re-submitted to the President on March 8 this year.

PTI