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August 5, 2000
Karnataka prays for Rajakumar's release
M D Riti in Bangalore
If you cannot do anything for Kannada film icon Dr Rajakumar's release, just pray, seems to be the credo of the Kannada film industry.
The film chamber and cable operators' guild were busy organising poojas and bhajan sessions in the city on Saturday.
The Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce conducted a fire homa in its office and sung bhajans in front of its office.
Film stars Ravichandran and Jaggesh and producer Rockline Venkatesh participated in a three-hour yagna and even offered a gold sword at a temple in Bangalore.
Character actress Pramila Joshai, comedienne Umasri, politician-actress Jayanthi, Mamatha Rao and Abhinaya did an urulu seva (rolling around the temple) at Banashankari. Male fans did the same urulu seva for over two kilometres, along public roads, from one temple to another, praying for Rajakumar's safe release.
The Kannada Film Directors Association started a relay hunger strike at its new office premises.
The Karnataka Cable Operators' Association is telecasting messages inviting viewers to participate in a big pooja in a temple in Bangalore.
New moon days
Is Veerappan an evil force? Or is it that Amavasya is virtually moonless and dark, and conducive to his stealthy night-time attacks? For whatever reason, Veerappan seems to prefer attacks on new moon days. July 30, when Veerappan abducted Rajakumar, was also a new moon night.
However, his other Amavasya victims were neither high profile nor quite as lucky. They were killed on that day or a day close to it.
1993: Three days after the new moon in May, three sub-inspectors and five policemen were killed in ambushes.
1992: A day after the new moon in August, SP Harikrishna, SI Shakkel Ahmed and four policemen were killed.
1992: On a new moon day in May, five policemen were killed at Ramapura police station.
1991: Four days after new moon in November, DCF P Srinivas was tortured and beheaded. Informants told the special task force that Veerappan had promised to propitiate his gods with a special, big sacrifice.
1991: A sub-inspector and three policemen were killed, when Hogenekal neared, in April.
1986: Two days after Amavasya in August, three forest personnel were killed.
The stars foretell
The Rajakumars' devotion and belief in astrology are helping them live through this crisis. ''It is all a question of destinty," said Parvathamma stoically. "We are praying for his safe return." There is almost a continuous pooja going on at the Rajakumar residence, keeping the womenfolk of the family busy.
Astrologers in the city have forecast the safe return of Rajakumar early next week. One astrologer blamed the incident on the lunar and solar eclipses following one another closely! Another said he knew that Bangalore was going to be struck by a major calamity last week, but did not realise that it would involve Rajakumar.
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