For Arputhammal, who waged a long battle to save her son and one of the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case A.G. Perarivalan, from the gallows, it was a dream come true when she went to thank Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.
It was a dream, she told presspersons at the Secretariat on Wednesday, adding Ms. Jayalalithaa took her hands and asked her not to cry.
She broke down uncontrollably when she met the Chief Minister. Unable to keep her emotions in check even during the interaction with media, Ms. Arputhammal, who used various forums to seek support for her son, including participating in the recent Chennai Book Fair, said: “Soon after going to [CM’s chamber] I started crying. I told her I have been yearning for my son.”
“She asked me not to cry and said all was well now. When I turned to leave Muthalvar (Chief Minister) amma called me back and took photographs. Truly, I did not expect… and express my thanks to her,” Ms. Arputhammal said.
On those who offered support, she said: “Everyone. I don’t want to mention names as missing anyone would be a mistake. Instead of describing them as Tamil supporters, I will call them human rights lovers across the world against capital punishment.”
“But, the assistance and decision that Muthalvar Amma took no one can and I want to put it on record,” she said. “She understood the pain of a mother and offered solace… I can’t forget her help,” Ms.Arputhammal said. “I would like to go to Delhi and thanks all the lawyers, including Ram Jethmalani,” she added.
On whether Ms. Jayalalithaa mentioned the date her son and six other convicts in the case would be released, she said the Chief Minister said “everyone, including your son, will be released.” But as the television channels are saying, Ms. Arputhammal said, they will be released in three days.
R. Arivanantham adds from Krishnagiri:
“I am unable to find any words of praise for Ms. Jayalalithaa, for her government’s courageous decision today to release not only my son, but also six others ( convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination),” said an emotional T. Gnanasekaran, father of Perarivalan.
Amid bursting of crackers and distribution of sweets to the neighbours immediately after the announcement by the Chief Minister, Mr. Gnanasekaran, who stays with his daughter in Krishnagiri, said he was overcome by joy by the government’s decision that followed the Supreme Court commuting the death sentence to life. On Tuesday, after hearing of the court judgment, Mr. Gnanasekaran said he now yearned for his son’s release from prison.
P.Sudhakar from Tirunelveli writes:
The father of Nalini, one of the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convicts, has thanked Chief Minister for recommending to the Centre to release his daughter following the Supreme Court’s directive.