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August 17, 2000
Ultras refuse bail, insist on withdrawal of cases
Four Tamil extremists, whose release has been demanded by forest brigand Veerappan, have refused to seek bail but are insisting on withdrawal of all cases against them, their advocate said in Madras on Thursday night.
The four - Venkatesan, Sathyamurthy, Muthukumar and Manikandan - conveyed this to lawyers who met them at the Tiruchirapalli prison, a criminal lawyer, R Sankarasubbu, said. They were demanding that they be released unconditionally and all charges against them be dropped.
"Ponnivalavan (the fifth extremist whose release has also been demanded), who is in Salem prison, may also toe the same line," Sankarasubbu said. The extremists had instructed him not to move any bail petition on their behalf or let anyone else do so, he said.
They were also insisting that they be accompanied by a group of journalists while proceeding to the jungles after their release, he said.
The government had earlier revoked the detention of the four extremists under the National Security Act and dropped Terrorist And Disruptive Activities charges against a fifth to make it easier for them to seek bail from the respective courts.
The release of these five was one of the conditions of Veerappan for freeing Kannada film star Dr Rajakumar and three others held hostage in the jungles since July 30.
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