'Bribed jail officials to show husband daughter's corpse'

'Bribed jail officials to show husband daughter's corpse'

'Bribed jail officials to show husband daughter's corpse'

Selvi Mary had to pay a bribe of Rs 2,000, money she had earned through menial jobs, to the jail officials to be allowed to show her husband Gnanaprakash the body of Periyanayagam, their daughter, one last time.

Gnanaprakash is among the four associates of slain forest brigand Veerappan, whose mercy petitions were recently rejected by the President and faces death sentence in the landmine blast case of 1993 at Sorekayimaduvu near Palar on the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border, that killed 22 people. Their daughter had died at a hospital in Mysore, where she was admitted for the treatment of tuberculosis.

“Periyanayagam was just five years old and suffering from tuberculosis, when police took away Gnanaprakash, who was working in the fields at Thomaiyarpalyam, without proper investigation. My husband was wrongly implicated in the Palar landmine blast case,” Mary told Deccan Herald at Sandanapalya of Kollegal taluk in the district.
Mary said her husband was in tears when he saw Periyanayagam’s body from the window of the visitors’ room in the jail. The last time she visited Gnanaprakash was two years ago at the Hindalga jail in Belgaum, and now, she is crestfallen when his hanging looks imminent.

Gnanaprakash’s father Joseph cannot hold back his tears.

“I had met my son when he was in the Mysore jail. He is innocent, but a false case has been foisted on him. The police are responsible for his death sentence,” he said.  Joseph said the police had projected his son, a Christian, as Veerappan’s brother.  “Do you need a bigger lie,” he asked. 

Victor, son of Bilavendran (who too is on death row in the case), also contends that his father had been wrongly implicated in the landmine blast case. His mother is presently in hospital, following an illness. Victor was just 13 when his father was arrested, a month after the blast.

“We could not question the police action that time and fight for justice,” he said.
He wants Rambo Gopalakrishna, the then chief of the Tamil Nadu Special Task Force, to be probed so that the truth can be revealed.  

“The police are saying on television that there was dust for 40 minutes after the blasts. That being the case, how could Gopalakrishna see the faces of these four people,” Jabamalai, Bilavendran’s nephew, said. Bilavendran hailed from Martalli near Sandanapalyam.

Jairaj, the brother of Simon (another of the death row convicts), seeks justice from the government on the ground that the police had foisted a false case on Simon. He says Simon was grazing cattle in the forest when the police picked him up. It was known after a long time that he had been implicated in the blast case, Jairaj told Deccan Herald.

Simon hailed from Vaddaradoddi, three km from Martalli. The other convict on the death row, Meesekara Madaiah, is from Tudur near Gopinatham village. His father and sister are shocked at the news of his mercy plea being rejected.  The families of the convicts plan to hold a silent rally in Martalli demanding a CBI probe into their role in the blast and a stay on their execution, on Wednesday.