'For me, Jayalalithaa is Goddess' - The New Indian Express

'For me, Jayalalithaa is Goddess'

Published: 20th February 2014 08:14 AM

Last Updated: 20th February 2014 09:48 AM

With tears of joy welling in her eyes, T Maheswari, the 65-year-old mother of Santhan, said Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa is “fit to be worshiped as a goddess” for releasing her son who had been on the death row for 23 years for allegedly conspiring to kill former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

“We were very happy when the Supreme Court commuted the death sentence to life imprisonment. And our joy knew no bounds when the Tamil Nadu chief minister went a step further and decided to release him. To me, Jayalalithaa Amma is fit to be worshiped as a goddess,” Maheswari told Express over the phone from her home in Udupitty, 25 km from Jaffna.

“I must also express my heartfelt thanks to all those who fought for the release of my son and others, especially those who immolated themselves for our cause,” she said. Maheswari said that Santhan was not the type who would participate in a murder plot.

“Never for a moment did we believe he was guilty. Even as a young man he was a bhakthivaan. His main aim was to go abroad to work and send money to his family. Santhan had done an Ordinary Level Commerce course in Sri Lanka and was looking for ways to migrate to the West from India, when he was caught in the Rajiv case,” she said.

Asked about her feelings when he was on the death row for so long, Maheswari said that her husband Thillaiambalam became a wreck and died a year and two months ago. She regretted not being able to travel to India to meet her son in jail. “We were too poor to be able to go to India,” she said.

Maheswari and Santhan’s siblings are hoping that he will be allowed to come back to Lanka because they have no means to go to India. “I want to see my son,” she said. One of Santhan’s brothers is a painter, and the other works in a company. His sister is a science teacher.

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