P. Ravichandran, a life convict in the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, was released from Madurai Central Prison on Saturday after completion of legal formalities.
Following the Supreme Court’s judgment ordering the release of the remaining six life convicts in the case, he was released. Ravichandran, who was out on parole, was brought to the Madurai prison from his native place near Vilathikulam in Thoothukudi district at 7.45 p.m. He walked out of the prison after the completion of formalities at 8.10 p.m.
Addressing media persons outside the prison, Mr. Ravichandran first recollected Sengodi’s sacrifice for the Tamil cause. He said his release brought relief more than happiness to him. Thanking the Dravidian parties, he said their release would not have been possible without the support of the Tamil Nadu governments — past and present — and parties as the Union governments were against the move. He also thanked the advocates who represented them.
He hoped that the Sri Lankan nationals among the released life convicts would soon reunite with their families. When asked about his future plans, he said his family and friends came first and he would take a decision after discussing them with all. He would take up writing and agriculture at his native place, he said.
He said the real forces behind the Rajiv assassination were powerful. “However, we became easy targets and they wanted to finish the case with us,” he said.
Further, he said the concept of Post Conviction Exoneration — clearing of a convicted person after new evidence establishing the person’s innocence is available — which was followed in various countries was not available in India. He would make a representation to the Law Commission in this regard. He said there was a need for prison reforms, due to the delay of which many had suffered. He said he would work towards achieving it. His advocate T. Thirumurugan was present at the press meet.
People representing various organisations garlanded him after he walked out of the prison. They also burst crackers.