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August 29, 2000
'Nakkeeran' Gopal sets out to meet Veerappan
In a bid to secure the release of Kannada film-star Rajakumar and three others, the official emissary R R Gopal left for the jungles in the small hours of Tuesday.
This was Gopal's third mission to the outlaw Veerappan, and the former carries with him documentary proof on the steps taken by the Tamil Nadu and Karnataka governments to meet his demands.
Confirming Gopal's departure, the Tamil bi-weekly Nakkeeran's associate editor A Kamaraj said the documents included the Karnataka government's decision to drop charges against the 121 people arrested years ago on charges of aiding Veerappan.
Fifty-one among these suspects were given bail by a court at Mysore yesterday, copies of which were handed over to the journalist-emissary.
Gopal, editor of Nakkeeran, also received copies of the orders of the two governments allocating Rs 5 crore each for a joint fund to provide compensation to victims of alleged excesses during operations to nab the bandit in 1992-93.
After his second round of negotiations last week, Gopal had told the two governments that the bandit was concerned over the delay in the release of prisoners in Mysore and had doubted the governments' commitment to paying compensation.
The setting up of the fund and the decision to withdraw cases against 51 persons in jail and leaving 70 others out on bail are expected to help Gopal clinch freedom for Rajakumar and three others who were taken hostage by Veerappan on July 30.
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