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August 30, 2000
HC moved against ultra's hand-over to Veerappan: PTI
The father of Manikandan, one of five Tamil extremists whose release has been sought by Veerappan in exchange for the freedom of Kannada star Dr Rajakumar and three others, approached the Madras high court on Wednesday to prohibit the handing over of his son to the forest brigand.
On a writ petition from P S Annamalai, the jailed extremist's father, Justice K Govindarajan asked the district judge, Tiruchirappalli, to send a magistrate to the Tiruchi prison to ascertain whether Manikandan was unwilling, as alleged, to be taken to the jungles after his release.
The court said the district judge should send his report to the court on September 8 and posted the case on that day.
The petitioner contended that after his son refused to seek bail as requested by a police official, he was informed on August 21 that charges against him were to be dropped and that he would be taken to the jungles, where he would be exchanged for Rajakumar.
As this was sought against Manikandan's will, the petitioner wanted the court to prohibit his hand-over to the 'illegal custody' of Veerappan.
Manikandan allegedly belongs to the Tamil National Retrieval Troops, a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam-trained militia, allegedly involved in an attack led by Veerappan and his men on a police station at Vellithiruppur in Erode district in December 1998.
His detention under the National Security Act was revoked on August 14 in deference to Veerappan's demand for his release. Later, the government decided to drop all charges against him and four other extremists as desired by the outlaw.
The petitioner, however, contended that his son was only an LTTE sympathiser, arrested in 1995 for putting up a poster of LTTE leader V Prabhakaran.
''This was the starting point of the foisting of a number of false cases,'' Annamalai said, adding that his son had not been convicted in any case.
Questioning how the respondents were authorised to hand over his son to an outlaw, the petitioner said there was no guarantee for his safety in the forest.
The other ultras whose release has been agreed to by the government are Sathymurthy and Muthukumar (both TNRT), 'Radio' Venkatesan and Ponnivalavan (both Tamil Nadu Liberation Army).
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