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Rajiv Gandhi case convict Perarivalan attacked with iron rod in jail

Perarivalan, who has been lodged in the high security block, was attacked by another inmate Rajesh Khanna, a life convict in a murder case. “Perarivalan was attacked with a piece of iron....an iron rod and it was used by another convict who is also in the high security block, to assault the Rajiv case convict,” a top jail official told PTI, adding he was now doing well.

Police sources said the Rajiv case convict received blows from the rod on his forehead, scalp and also his arms when he tried to fend off the attack. He was taken to hospital where his wounds were sutured, dressed and treated.

They said an enquiry was being held by senior prison officials. On the reason for the attack, they indicated it was related to shifting Khanna to another block. They declined to go further into it, since an enquiry was being held.

Learning about the incident, Perarivalan’s mother Arputhammal visited him. Later speaking to reporters here, she wondered how her ‘soft-spoken’ son could have become the target of an attack.

Perarivalan, also known as ‘Arivu’ has been in prison for over 25 years after he was convicted in the case. Political parties, including the PMK, have demanded that the culprits behind the incident be punished.

PMK chief Ramadoss said those behind the attack should be punished. He urged the Tamil Nadu government to free all seven convicts on remission and in case of the legal process delaying their release, the State should give them leave.

MDMK chief Vaiko condemned the attack, saying the incident raised doubts if it was an attempt to murder Perarivalan. He demanded that the state provide him adequate security and wanted it to find out the background to the attack. He also urged the government to release Perarivalan on parole.

Rajiv Gandhi was killed by a suicide bomber at Sriperumbudur near Chennai on May 21, 1991. Seven persons - Murugan, Santhan, Perarivalan, Nalini, Robert Payas, Jayakumar and Ravichandran, were convicted in the case.

Nalini’s death sentence was commuted to life in 2000 following a cabinet recommendation and appeal by Rajiv’s wife, Sonia Gandhi. The Supreme Court had commuted the death sentence of Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan in February 2014 following delay in deciding on their mercy plea.

The Tamil Nadu government had in March this year decided to remit the sentences of all the seven 
convicts. 

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