‘Per­ari­valan was not aware of con­spir­acy’

Ex-CBI of­fi­cer makes state­ment be­fore Supreme Court

The Hindu - - SOUTH - Kr­ish­nadas Ra­jagopal

Twenty-six years af­ter the as­sas­si­na­tion of for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Ra­jiv Gandhi, a for­mer CBI of­fi­cer who in­ter­ro­gated one of the con­victs, the then 19-year-old A.G. Per­ari­valan, made a sworn state­ment be­fore the Supreme Court that the CBI omit­ted the part of his con­fes­sion where he said he had “ab­so­lutely no idea” of the pur­pose for which the two nine-volt bat­ter­ies he bought would be used for.

Per­ari­valan has been in prison for 26 years for his role in procur­ing the two bat­ter­ies which the pros­e­cu­tion said were used in the belt bomb which killed Mr. Gandhi in 1991 at Sripe­rum­budur in Tamil Nadu.

V. Thi­a­gara­jan, in an af­fi­davit dated Oc­to­ber 27, 2017, sub­mit­ted that Per­ari­valan’s state­ment that “he was to­tally in the dark as to the pur­pose for which the bat­ter­ies were pur­chased was not recorded by me, be­cause it would have been an ex­cul­pa­tory state­ment and hence the whole pur­pose of record­ing the con­fes­sional state­ment would be lost.”

“Fur­ther I did not deem it fit to record this ex­cul­pa­tory state­ment be­cause the in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­gard­ing the bomb was pend­ing at the time of record­ing the con­fes­sional state­ment and even till date,” Mr. Thi­a­gara­jan stated.

‘Ig­no­rance con­firmed’

He said the CBI was not sure about the part played by Per­ari­valan, but his ig­no­rance about the con­spir­acy was con­firmed as the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the as­sas­si­na­tion pro­gressed.

Mr. Thi­a­gara­jan re­ferred to a wire­less mes­sage of May 7, 1991 from mas­ter­mind Si­varasan to LTTE top op­er­a­tive Pottu Amman in which the for­mer said “our in­ten­tion is not known to any­body ex­cept we three,” mean­ing him­self, Subha and Dhanu, the sui­cide bomber.

He said a “mere act” of pro­vid­ing bat­ter­ies would not make Per­ari­valan privy to the con­spir­acy to kill Mr. Gandhi. The wire­less mes­sage made it clear that Per­ari­valan was not taken into con­fi­dence.

Mr. Thi­a­gara­jan said the Supreme Court “was gra­cious and highly con­sid­er­ate” to spare the death penalty to Per­ari­valan in 2014.

He said re­mis­sion for Per­ari­valan from the rest of the sen­tence is “long over­due.”

He said he had taken the “con­sid­ered de­ci­sion to come for­ward be­fore the Supreme Court to put the facts per­tain­ing to the con­fes­sional state­ment recorded by me in the proper per­spec­tive so as to fa­cil­i­tate this court to ren­der jus­tice.”

Per­ari­valan’s coun­sel Gopal Sankara­narayanan sub­mit­ted be­fore a Bench led by Jus­tice Ran­jan Go­goi that the LTTE’s chief arms pro­curer of the time is in a Sri Lankan prison. Coun­sel said probe agen­cies are still try­ing to ques­tion this man.

Part of his con­fes­sion where he states his ig­no­rance was omit­ted

V. Thi­a­gara­jan For­mer CBI of­fi­cer

Two weeks time

“The per­son who made the bomb is in a prison in Sri Lanka and they (agen­cies) have till date not ques­tioned this man. The boy who bought two bat­ter­ies has been lan­guish­ing in jail for 26 years. And it is spec­u­la­tive if the bat­ter­ies were even used in the bomb,” Mr. Sankara­narayanan sub­mit­ted.

The Bench gave the Cen­tre two weeks to de­cide whether it agrees with the Tamil Nadu gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to grant Per­ari­valan re­mis­sion. The next date of hear­ing is De­cem­ber 6. He was granted pa­role in Au­gust this year for the first time since his ar­rest in mid-1991.


In the dark? Per­ari­valan has been in prison for 26 years for his role in procur­ing bat­ter­ies that were used in the belt bomb which killed Ra­jiv Gandhi.

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