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August 1, 2000
'Veerappan wants TADA detainees released'
Forest brigand Veerappan, who had abducted Kannada film icon Dr Rajakumar, has demanded the release of Terrorist And Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act detainees, according to Kannada film actor and Member of Parliament Ambareesh.
Ambareesh claimed that he had heard the audiocassette sent by Veerappan and that the brigand had not demanded money as ransom. He had also sought in the eight-minute long message that no damage should be done to Tamils in Karnataka.
Meanwhile, normal life was paralysed in Karnataka for the second day Tuesday as several cities and towns observed strikes and processions were taken out to protest against the abduction.
The response to the strikes was ''near total''. Barring stone-throwing incidents in Bijapur district and on the outskirts of the city, the situation was peaceful.
Buses went off the roads and most business establishments downed shutters.
At some places, effigies of Veerappan were burnt.
The strike had been called by the Kannada Chaluvali Kendra.
Central forces staged a flag march in the city to instil confidence among people.
In Tiruchirapalli, the city police nabbed nine persons connected with the murder of reporter Selvaraj of the Tamil bi-weekly Nakkeeran, within hours of the occurrence of the incident, even as magazine editor R R Gopal demanded a thorough probe into the killing.
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