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August 5, 2000
Parvathamma responds to cassette over radio
M D Riti in Bangalore
"I feel as if you are right here now, talking to me," says Parvathamma emotionally, in a short broadcast on All India Radio to her husband Dr Rajakumar Saturday, in response to his recorded message on an audio cassette sent through Pondicherry to Madras on Friday. "I hope Veerappan sends you back soon."
Soon after the family heard the cassette, Parvathamma and Dr Rajakumar's second son Raghavendra recorded the short response that is being broadcast five times a day, in the hope that Dr Rajakumar and Veerappan hear it.
"I was very glad to listen to your voice on the cassette that you sent us," says Raghavendra.
"Shivanna (the actor's eldest son Shivaraj Kumar) heard it in Madras and then sent it to us in Bangalore. The people of Karnataka are also happy to hear from you, and Amma is ecstatic. Bangalore is very peaceful, there are no fights between Kannadigas and Tamilians, no buses are being burnt.
"There are no police forces in the forest either, as you feared. All this was withdrawn two days ago. I hope you heard this on the radio. But you must return home soon, Appaji. We are all waiting for you. We do not know whether the medicines reached you (sent through Gopal). Please give us some indication."
Parvathamma continues, "I was very glad to hear your voice. You have also said he is taking good care of you, Govindu (Parvathamma's younger brother) and Nagappa (who are also hostages). You always said you wanted this experience, and now I'm happy that you say (on the cassette) that it has been worthwhile."
Speaking quite fluently in Tamil, she says to Veerappan, "Just as unexpectedly as you sent us this cassette, please send HIM back too! I think of you as my Anna (elder brother). Please understand your sister's state of mind, and send him back soon. He says you are taking good care of him, and that both of you have learnt from the experience. When I got the cassette, I felt you had given me a great gift. Please tell us what your requests are. I am sure the government will act quickly on them."
The police and Dr Rajakumar's family feels that Veerappan must have recorded the cassette on Tuesday or early Wednesday, as it makes no reference to the family's first radio broadcast made after that. Alternately, they have not heard that broadcast at all, which the police feels is unlikely as Veerappan knows that the outside world will try to reach him and his hostages through these means.
"I hope you got my last message on the radio," says Parvathamma to Veerappan.
Are Rajakumar and Veerappan really listening or is Parvathamma just talking to thin air?
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