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August 3, 2000
Gopal meets Veerappan
Our correspondent in Bangalore
Nakkeeran editor R R Gopal met forest brigand Veerappan at his hideout on Thursday evening.
He began negotiations with the fugitive, who is holding Kannada film icon Dr Rajakumar hostage since Sunday.
The exact location of their meeting has not been revealed as Veerappan fears a police attack.
Karnataka chief minister S M Krishna, along with thousands of Kannadigas, are keeping their fingers crossed, hoping for the early release of Rajakumar and others.
Krishna convened an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss the latest development.
Meanwhile, former Veerappan aides, being held under the Terrorists And Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act in Mysore jail, have criticised the kidnapping.
They said that it would hurt the interest of people belonging to Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
There was a special programme, to pray for the safe and early release of Rajakumar, at the jail on Thursday.
The district in-charge minister is conducting peace committee meetings along the border area in Chamarajanagar district. Many Tamil-speaking people settled in Karnataka fear attacks by Kannadigas following the kidnapping.
Rajkumar's fans have decided to take to peaceful forms of protests to press for his early release.
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