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August 8, 2000
New pointers emerge in kidnap drama
N Sathiya Moorthy in Madras
Karnataka Chief Minister S M Krishna's request to Pattali Makkal Katchi founder Dr S Ramadoss, seeking his intervention in obtaining the release of Kannada matinee idol Dr Rajakumar, has added a new dimension to the drama.
Intelligence sources seem to have concluded that the PMK may be the political beneficiary of Veerappan's demands, even if its leadership may have no contact with the outlaw.
"We are approaching the issue cautiously and not drawing any conclusions," says an informed source. "We go by the assumption that Veerapan's demands relate to the same issues for which the PMK has fought in the past. It may have the outlaw's sympathies. Hence we feel an appeal by a leader like Ramadoss will help."
For his part, Ramadoss lost no time in sending out a public appeal, soon after Krishna's request. Indications are that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi was wary of talking directly to his political ally, whose relationship in the past year has been marked by mutual suspicion.
Knowledgeable sources now refer to the alleged links between some PMK leaders and pan-Tamil peripheral groups. Some PMK leaders are said to have been in constant touch with the Tamil National Liberation Army, the outfit reportedly behind Veerapan's demands.
The PMK is still seen as a party of the Vanniar community, with its pan-Tamil roots. Many TNLA leaders come from the community, and so does Veerappan.
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