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Veerappan sends cassette

Agencies

Posted: Aug 26, 2002 at 1419 hrs IST

Forest brigand Veerappan, who kidnapped former Karnataka minister H. Nagappa on Sunday night, has sent a cassette. The authorities, however, refused to reveal the contents of the cassette.

Veerappan gave a cassette to one Guruswamy, a worker in the minister’s farm house asking him to handover it to the family members. Nagappa also gave a message to Guruswamy to be handed over to his wife.

SPECIAL TASK FORCE

The Special Task Force (STF) has been alerted and asked to reach its camp at S.S. Mahal near Sathyamangalam in Erode district following the abduction of former Karnataka minister H. Nagappa.

Erode SP rushed to Sathyamangalam with some forces, police said. Bus and other transport services have been asked to cancel all trips to Karnataka and border areas, they said.

Meanwhile, former prime minister and JD-S president H.D. Deve Gowda asked Karnataka Chief Minister S.M. Krishna to secure the release of Nagappa from the custody of forest outlaw Veerappan.

At a press conference, he claimed that Veerappan has kidnapped Nagappa for ransom, as he had earlier succeeded in getting money for the release film star Rajkumar.

VEERAPPAN KIDNAPS FORMER MINISTER

Over two years after the sensational abduction of Karnataka film icon Rajkumar by Veerappan, members of the forest brigand's gang on Sunday night kidnapped former state minister H. Nagappa from his village house in Chamarajnagar district bordering Tamil Nadu.

Seven to eight masked men carrying guns stormed into Nagappa's residence at Komageri near Kollegel when the 62-year-old Janata Dal leader was taking rest in front of the house after the naming ceremony of his grandchild, police said.

Another report put the number of abductors to four. They said the manner of Nagappa's abduction and the location of the village all point to the involvement of Veerappan as the area stretches to Satyamangalam forest in neighbouring Tamil Nadu, the main area of operation for the Sandlwood smuggler.

Nagappa was the minister for agricultural marketing in the J.H. Patel ministry. The Special Task Forces in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu were alerted in the wake of Nagappa's abduction. In Tamil Nadu, STF personnel were asked to reach camp at S.S. Mahal near Sathyamangalam in Erode district while their counterparts in Karnataka rushed to Komageri village.

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