It was a well planned lark that backfired.
After two decades in jail for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, death row convicts Perarivalan and Murugan wanted a whiff of fresh country air. Sadly, the only way to do it was by taking the Plus two examinations of Tamil Nadu Education Board.
Sounds strange? Not really. To write the exam, convicts of Vellore Central Jail have to be transported to Chennai’s Puzhal central jail — a 160-km trip.
Accordingly, the two MCA certificate holders both in their forties, who got their degrees from jail, hit rewind on their educational careers.
“Lodged in jail since he was arrested as a 19-year-old in 1991, Perarivalan wanted a glimpse of the outside world,” said B Sarvanan, a volunteer of the NGO People’s Movement Against Death Penalty.
But the jail authorities played spoilsport. “There is no provision for transporting death row convicts,” said SK Dogra, IGP, Prisons. “So when they expressed a desire to appear for the exams, we got the education department to conduct the tests for them at Vellore jail.”
The results of the exam came out on Tuesday.
The two have passed with flying colours – even though it was not quite the result they had in mind.