|Nickname(s)||Aviru The Indian Express|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 180 cm
in meters- 1.8 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 11”
|Date of Birth||30 July 1971 (Friday)|
|Age (as in 2020)||49 Years|
|Birthplace||Jolarpet, Tamil Nadu|
|Hometown||Jolarpet, Tamil Nadu|
|College/University||Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)|
|Educational Qualification||• Diploma in Electronics and Communication Engineering The Indian Express
• Diploma in Desktop Publishing (from Tamil Nadu Open University)The Hindu
• Bachelors of Computer Application (from IGNOU) The Indian Express
• Master of Computer Applications (from IGNOU) The Indian Express
|Honours & Achievements||• In 2012, he topped in the class 12 exams among all the prisoners in Tamil Nadu. The Indian Express
• In 2013, he bagged a gold medal in a Desktop Publishing Diploma course conducted by the Tamil Nadu Open University. The Indian Express
|Parents||Father- T. Gnanasekaran (retired government teacher and poet)
Mother- Arputham Ammal
Sister(s)- A G Anbumani & A G Arulselvi (assistant professor at Annamalai University)
Some Lesser Known Facts About A.G. Perarivalan
- AG Perarivalan is one of the seven convicts undergoing life imprisonment in the assassination case of the former Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi.
- On 21 May 1991, Rajiv Gandhi reached an election campaign rally in Sriperumbudur where he was to deliver a speech. While Rajiv was walking towards the stage, an onlooker, Dhanu, greeted him, bent down to touch Rajiv’s feet and detonated an RDX explosive-laden belt tucked under her vest. The blast killed Rajiv Gandhi, Dhanu (human bomb), and sixteen other people present at the site.
- On 11 June 1991, Perarivalan, who was then a 19-year-old youth, was arrested by CBI officials for interrogating him in Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination case. Later, he was charged under Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act [TADA] for his alleged role in facilitating the former prime minister’s killing. He was accused of bringing two nine nine-volt batteries and providing them to Srinivasan, the key architect of the conspiracy. These batteries were used in the explosive device that killed Rajiv Gandhi.
- On 28 January 1998, the designated TADA court in Chennai’s Poonamallee convicted 26 people, including Perarivalan, in the Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination case and subsequently pronounced death sentences for all of them.
- On 11 May 1999, the Supreme Court of India confirmed the death sentence for four convicts, S. Nalini, Murugan alias Sriharan, T Suthendraraja alias Santhan, Perarivalan, and the rest were either acquitted or sent to various jail terms. Reportedly, it was Perarivalan ‘confessional statement’ that led the three-judge bench comprising Justices KT Thomas, DP Wadhwa, and SSM Quadri to conclude that Perarivalan was aware of the information that Rajiv Gandhi was going to be assassinated.
- Following the apex court’s verdict in 1999, Perarivalan, Nalini, Murugan, and Santhan moved a mercy petition against their capital punishment before the then Governor of Tamil Nadu. Only Nalini’s clemency plea was accepted and the pleas for remaining three convicts were sent to the president of India in 1999. The president of India rejected their mercy pleas in 2011.
- While in jail, Perarivalan wrote a book, An Appeal From The Death Row (Rajiv Murder Case — The Truth Speaks), where he penned his side of the story and his experiences as a death sentence convict. The book was released by A.B. Bardhan, a member of Communist Party of India, in Hindi, English, and Malayalam in 2011.
- While serving his time in prison, Perarivalan, who was previously a diploma holder, passed grade 12 in 2012. His score of 91.33 percent in class 12 exams was the highest among all the prisoners in Tamil Nadu. He also earned a Bachelor of Computer Applications and Master of Computer Applications degree from the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in prison.
- After remaining on death row for 23 years, on 18 February 2014, a bench of Supreme Court comprising the then Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam and senior judges Ranjan Gogoi and Shiva Kirti Singh commuted the death sentences of Perarivalan, Murugan, and Santhan into imprisonment for life.
- A day after the apex commuted their death penalties in February 2014, Jayaram Jayalalithaa, the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, announced that her government will free all seven convicts, undergoing lifetime jail-term in the former PM’s assassination case, from prison by using section 432 (grant remission or suspension) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). However, the Supreme Court issued a stay on the decision of Tamil Nadu Government to release all seven convicts.
- In December 2015, Perarivalan filed a mercy plea before the Tamil Nadu governor again that was then sent to the union government for further consideration. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs rejected the Tamil Nadu Government’s proposal.
- In 2016, Perarivalan was assaulted by an inmate who hit him with an iron rod on his head.
- In August 2017, Perarivalan was granted parole for the first time after being in prison for 27 years. He remained on parole for two months to stay with his sick father.
- A major discovery in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case came in October 2017, when a former CBI officer V Thiagarajan (retired IPS) filed an affidavit with the Supreme Court of India claiming that Perarivalan is innocent. He revealed in the affidavit that he was the officer in charge who had recorded Perarivalan’s confession in 1991 and had deliberately omitted a part of Perarivalan’s confession wherein he had confessed of being unaware of the reason why the batteries were bought. V Thiagarajan wrote,
Arivu (Perarivalan) told me that he did not know why they asked him to buy that [the battery]. But I did not record that in the confessional statement. Then the investigation was in progress, so that particular statement I did not record. Strictly speaking, law expects you to record a statement verbatim… we don’t do that in practice”
The former IPS also mentioned about a wireless message that was sent by the mastermind, Sivarasan, to a top LTTE operative, Pottu Amman on 7 May 1991 (before Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination). Sivarasan had said in the wireless message that he did not share their intention to assassinate Rajiv Gandhi to anyone except him and the suicide bomber. V Thiagarajan concluded the letter by saying,
If he (Perarivalan) did not know that there was going to be a killing, how can you make him party to the killing. It is illogical, it is against the evidence on record. Therefore, you look at it from any angle it will be miscarriage of justice if the extreme penalty is carried out” The News Minute The Hindu
- In 2018, CBI rubbished the claims made by V Thiagarajan saying “Perarivalan was involved neck-deep in the conspiracy” The Hindu
- In September 2018, the Tamil Nadu Government passed a cabinet resolution to free all seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. After the resolution was passed, it was sent to the governor of Tamil Nadu for his approval on pardoning the convicts.
- In 2019, Perarivalan came out of jail on parole for the second time to attend his sister’s wedding.
- In February 2021, the governor of Tamil Nadu refused to take any decision on premature release of Perarivalan, saying that only president of India has the authority to take a decision in this matter. The Hindu
- Apart from providing tuitions to the inmates preparing for various exams, Perarivalan also runs a music band in Chennai’s Puzhal Central Prison.
- Ponnappan, an ex-prisoner who spent time with Perarivalan inside the jail, started an educational trust after Perarivalan’s name, “Perarivalan Educational Trust,” to educate unprivileged children. The Indian Express