Thanking Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa for her decision to release all seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, Perarivalan’s mother Arputhammal said, “No other leader would have taken such a bold decision. I will be ever grateful to her for this gesture.” Hours after Jayalalithaa announced the decision in the Assembly, Arputhammal met the Chief Minister at the Secretariat.“Don’t cry... your son will be returning home very soon,” Jayalalithaa told the emotional mother.
The Chief Minister also received accolades from several other quarters for the swift decision. Many people praised the “bold” decision on social networking sites too. In the Assembly, leaders of DMDK, CPM, CPI, Puthiya Thamizhagam, RPI, AISMK and Kongu Ilaignar Peravai welcomed the decision, while Congress, which has been isolated on the issue, staged a walk-out. Congress legislator N R Rangarajan, later told mediapersons that the “TN Cabinet’s decision would set a wrong precedent”.
Recalling the resolution moved by her in the Assembly on August 30, 2011, urging the President to reconsider the clemency plea of the death-row trio and commute their death sentence to life, respecting the sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa said the Centre had put the resolution on the backburner for the past two-and-a-half years.
Knowing fully well that DMK chief Karunanidhi and the Central government supported by the DMK would not take a decision, the three convicts had moved the Madras HC seeking to commute their death sentences considering their 23 years of imprisonment and a delay of 11 years in deciding their mercy plea. Later, these cases were transferred to the SC where the Attorney General argued against commuting the death sentence, she pointed out.