VELLORE: The narrow K K Thangavelu Street behind Jolarpettai railway station has been buzzing with activity since Friday night as A G Perarivalan (47), a life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, returned home after 26 years, for 30 days of leave from prison.
About 400 people, mostly relatives and friends, flocked to Perarivalan’s residence on Saturday, celebrating his leave with renewed hopes of him getting released permanently. Many relatives admitted it was the first time they were visiting the house in a decade, and added that until 2002, they were reluctant to help Perarivalan’s mother Arputhammal in her legal battle.
“When Arivu (Perarivalan) was arrested in 1991, almost all relatives and family friends distanced themselves from his family. Arputhammal was invited for family functions at that time, but it wasn’t until late 2002 that many of us were convinced that Arivu would not have been involved in the assassination, said Thachananthan, a 33-year-old army man and relative of Perarivalan.
On returning home on Friday, Perarivalan reportedly told his mother he could not recognise the street or locality. “He said he couldn’t recognise any of the places beyond the bypass road, except the school and railway track,” said another relative.
On Arputhammal saying she wanted to see her son married, Perarivalan reportedly replied that he would think about marriage only after getting released from jail permanently.