Rajiv killing convict is a free spirit even in jail

His watch stopped on June 11, 1991. After spending two decades in jail, Perarivalan — one of the death-row convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case — found 2011 was a rollercoaster ride. This year he almost walked to the gallows and was saved only by a series of interventions.

Clad in white and wearing an impeccable smile, Arivu hardly comes across as a death-row prisoner. “People ask me how I keep smiling. I know I am not at fault. I have a clear conscience. I believe justice, even if delayed, will someday prevail. Why should I lose my smile?” he retorts, in a chat with this newspaper.
Arivu stepped into jail as a 19-year old and in his life has spent more years in jail than outside.
“My parents handed me over to the enquiring officers but, funnily, the officers received reward money claiming they had nabbed me.”
Arivu thinks it’s ironic that visitors and jail inmates ask him about his dreams. “My life has constantly been marred by eternal uncertainties. Dream is an unaffordable luxury for me” he smiles.

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