A.G. Perarivalan, one of the three convicts facing death penalty in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, has bagged a gold medal by topping a diploma course examination conducted by the Tamil Nadu Open University.
In May last year, Perarivalan stood first among prisoners by scoring 1,096 out of 1,200 in the Plus Two examination. Family sources said he was aiming to pursue Ph.D.
According to Prison department sources, Perarivalan sat for the Diploma in Desktop Publishing examination along with general candidates and scored the first mark. He was among the 185 prison inmates who appeared in different examinations conducted by the university recently.
“It would be wrong to say that I am happy on hearing this news. It has only saddened me further…my son has been consistently demonstrating academic excellence. He scored 91.33 per cent in Plus Two examination, which is the highest ever among prisoners. Twenty-two years of incarceration has not bogged down his urge to excel in studies,” Perarivalan’s mother Arputhammal told The Hindu on Thursday.
She said that her family was confident that Perarivalan would return home one day. “We hope that Chief Minister Jayalalithaa would take steps for the early release of my son. He has suffered enough for no fault of his. Every time he achieves something on the academic or sports front, I find it so difficult to face my son. How can I congratulate him...,” Ms. Arputhammal said.
A senior prison official said a large number of inmates were enrolled in the Mahatma Gandhi Community College that was affiliated to the TNOU. “Opportunities for inmates to pursue education are plenty. From basic literacy to post-graduation, a number of courses are being offered. The objective is to make them employable,” he said.