Let me breathe first, says a free Perarivalan

Tired of interviews, she turned away from cameras and journalists jostling for sound bites. 

Published: 19th May 2022 07:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th May 2022 07:31 AM   |  A+A-

Perarivalan and Arputhammal celebrating his release. (Photo | S DINESH, EPS)

Perarivalan and Arputhammal celebrating his release. (Photo | S DINESH, EPS)

Express News Service

TIRUPATTUR: To the bevy of journalists outside his home asking for his future plans, AG Perarivalan said: “For all these 31 years, I was thinking only about the legal battle. Let me now take some time to think about my future,” he said. 

He stammered a bit when asked about what he learned in his life during his imprisonment. After a few seconds he said his life experience itself was a lesson. Though he acknowledged his suffering during the days he faced death penalty, Perarivalan didn’t go into details, saying in a lighter tone: “How can I talk about my 31 years of jail life in a (short) press meeting.” 

Later, he paid floral tributes to Senkodi, who took her life demanding the release of the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, and Justice Krishna Iyer, whose verdict paved the way for his release. He thanked Chief Minister MK Stalin and other political leaders. He also recalled the role of retired IPS officer Thiyagarajan, who admitted his failure to record his confession verbatim, and Justice KT Thomas. 

“Tamils all over the world gave me love and affection and treated me like their own son. I owe thanks to a lot of people and I wish to deliver them in person,” he said. While his house was in a celebratory mood with traditional parai music and ladoos, Arputhammal, the backbone of this long legal battle, stood quietly. Tired of interviews, she turned away from cameras and journalists jostling for sound bites. 

The story of what was once deemed impossible — the release of Perarivalan — could be truly understood from the struggles and persistence of his mother. “Imagine that 31 years of a man’s life was wasted in jail... it’s painful,” Aruputhammal told reporters. 

Praising his mother Arputhammal, Perarivalan said: “As you all know, it’s all possible because of my mother’s struggle. The truth was on our side and it gave us the courage to continue the struggle. I have read Maxim Gorky’s novel Mother numerous times, even when I was in the death row. I would compare my mother with the protagonist,” he said. 

He said he felt bad for stealing years of his mother’s life, but was happy that his mother finally got to see him come out of prison. Later in the day, Perarivalan and Arputhammal called on former CM Edappadi K Palaniswami and former Dy CM O Panneerselvam and thanked them for their government’s efforts for the release of Perarivalan.


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