Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict seeks relaxation of rules in Trichy camp

Robert Payas, one of the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case was released in November 2022 and has been housed at the special camp in Trichy which houses Sri Lankan refugees.
Robert Payas, one of the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case
Robert Payas, one of the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case
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Robert Payas, one of the six convicts in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi who was recently released, has written to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin about the poor conditions in the special camp at Trichy where he is currently housed. Payas was released after his 32-year sentence along with the other convicts in the case on November 10 from Puzhal prison. Since he is a Sri Lankan citizen, he has been housed at the special camp in Trichy, along with other Sri Lankan refugees.

In his letter to the Chief Minister on Thursday, December 29, Robert Payas said that the conditions in the prison were better than what he was being subjected to at the special camp. According to the Times of India, the letter stated that only “blood relatives” were allowed to visit the people in the camp and because of this rule, Payas could not have any visitors since he did not have any immediate family in Tamil Nadu. Payas, in his letter, went on to say that even his friends and well-wishers were not able to visit him because of this rule.

He further added that he has been confined to a single room and “there is no permission to walk or play.” Payas said that being in the special camp feels like he has been moved from one prison to another as he has “had no opportunity to feel and breathe freedom” despite being released from prison six weeks ago. The Times of India report also stated how Payas mentioned that the atmosphere in the camp was “intimidating” and had restrictions. Payas also added that this atmosphere would make anyone believe that regular jail is better than the special camp.

In his letter, Payas said that the special camp also has rules where its residents are not allowed to talk to friends or family over the phone. He further added that not being allowed to speak to his family and friends, being denied visitors and denial of outdoor activities have caused him “untold hardship and stress.” The letter also requested the Chief Minister to issue instructions to the officials in the special camp to allow him to engage in outdoor activities and meet his friends and well-wishers “on humanitarian grounds.”

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