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Updated: June 21, 2012 01:19 IST

Documentary will offer glimpses of death convict’s life

S. Vijay Kumar
Comment (7)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

The People’s Movement Against Death Penalty, headed by Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer, is making a documentary that focusses on the life of Perarivalan, the convict facing death penalty in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

The one-hour film christened ‘1096, a Symbol of Reformation’, is expected to be screened in the first week of July, barely days ahead of the final hearing in the Supreme Court of the case, in which the three condemned prisoners are seeking relief on the grounds of inordinate delay in disposal of their mercy petitions by the President.

“Perarivalan emerged topper among prison inmates who appeared for the Plus Two examination. The ‘1096’ in the title is a reference to his marks and symbolises his resolve. We want to showcase the achievement of this convict who braved the threat of impending gallows and excelled academically. He has done post-graduation in MCA. The Plus Two appearance was only to facilitate his admission to M.Phil course,” co-producer of the documentary Selvaraj Murugaiyan told The Hindu.

The documentary has short interviews with legal luminaries such as Justice K.T. Thomas, who delivered judgment in the case.

“We have also interviewed police/prison officials, the kin of those who died in the May 21 blast that killed Rajiv Gandhi, and some inmates who knew Perarivalan in Vellore Central Prison.”

Directed by Pragadeeswaran, the documentary will have some original clips of Perarivalan at the time of his arrest or court visits. The effort is also to portray how prisons in Tamil Nadu are providing a conducive environment for inmates to reform.

Asked if the initiative was intended to whip up sympathy for Perarivalan and two other convicts on the death row, Mr. Selvaraj said the film was only a presentation of truth. Every aspect of the documentary would be backed by evidence or interviews of relevant people.

“However, the statements of some of those whom we interviewed might seem to be sympathising with the convicts, but it is their own view. For instance Justice Krishna Iyer says: “Let there be no killing in the name of Rajiv Gandhi. For God’s sake don’t hang them…even Sonia Gandhi or Priyanka Gandhi don’t want it, then why…”

Only in India this could happen. Making a documentary in favour of a killer who brutally killed a country's Prime Minister. Hope the Tamil Nadu state will not erect statues of these assasins in near future.

from:  ASOKAN
Posted on: Jun 22, 2012 at 15:24 IST

Dealth penalty is a barbaric practice and it should be abolished. The argument has nothing to do with what the crime is.

from:  Bhanu Kiran
Posted on: Jun 22, 2012 at 10:08 IST

Since 2004, there has been no judiciary-approved state-sponsored killing in India.
While New Delhi is preoccupied with the election to the ceremonial post of President, there's unlikely to be one. Pressure for that will resume after a few months.
This is a sorry state of affairs. India simply ought to declare a moratorium in preparation for abolition and join some 150 civilised nations who have abolished it in law or in practice.

from:  N. Jayaram
Posted on: Jun 21, 2012 at 16:21 IST

I do not understand why a person who took part in the cowardly killing of OUR prime minister should be given such publicity. An intelligent man can be a callous killer or an academic. It should not change the facts.

from:  Chandran
Posted on: Jun 21, 2012 at 13:34 IST

I understand that the entire case against "Death Penalty" rests on the
tenet that it is better to let off 1000 criminals than to punish an
innocent. However when it comes down to the case of granting mercy to
the individual who has already been convicted of the murder of the PM
of India, I can't even fathom one good reason. Just because this
individual has lived in agony waiting for the pangs of death, which is
yet to be delivered (thanks to the system) should he be granted mercy?
Oh wait; he has also topped the Plus two among the prison inmates -
stellar achievement. While the family of the deceased might have their
own ulterior motives for supporting the plea for the convict, I
personally don't think family members of murdered victims would in
general feel vindicated until the guilty meets the same fate as the
victim. Sure remove the Death Penalty. What's next? Don't have
punishments at all, let the guilty realize his/her mistake and turn
over a new leaf. Then why not let off Kasab ?

from:  Nilotpal Paul
Posted on: Jun 21, 2012 at 11:56 IST

Interesting move by 'People’s Movement Against Death Penalty'.
Do these people have some sympathy for FIVE bank robbery suspects who
were killed in midnight police raid?
Can we expect a documentary on the lives of these 5 poor youths who in
worst case just stole some money? I guess not; who cares if some poor
thugs are killed in fake encounter! Terrorists (who KILLED innocents)
on the other hand grab these people headlines and probably funds from
shadowy parties. Is it the Tamil chauvinism?
Shame on double standards of The Hindu. [Big advocate of 'No death penalty to terrorists'- countless editorials and opinion articles- but
silent on cold-blood murder of robbery suspects.]

from:  Sunil Lathwal
Posted on: Jun 21, 2012 at 08:51 IST

There cannot be two approaches to the same crime of proven murder.Just
because in this case there has been a lot of media publicity and big
personalities are involved , the Government cannot, or rather should
not, deviate from the norm.The Law (an Ass, said Shakespeare) must
take its course.Yes, if death penalty is abolished the issue becomes different.

from:  Ven Sardi
Posted on: Jun 21, 2012 at 05:45 IST
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