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August 30, 2000
Gopal enters forest with Veerappan's consent
Journalist-emissary R R Gopal has ventured into the forests to meet outlaw Veerappan after getting a signal from the bandit and believes that there will be no hitches in securing the release of Kannada film star Dr Rajakumar and three other hostages, Gopal's colleague said on Wednesday.
Tamil bi-weekly Nakkeeran's associate editor A Kamaraj said in a statement in Madras that Gopal had contacted him on Wednesday evening to confirm that he had received the green signal from the brigand to go and meet him.
He would resume negotiations with the outlaw based on the documents furnished by the chief ministers of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu regarding the action taken by the two governments on his demands, Kamaraj said.
The journalist-emissary was hopeful that even while the parleys were on, there would be some positive news for the outlaw over the radio about the release of prisoners. 'There will be no complications in securing Dr Rajakumar's release," Kamaraj quoted Gopal as saying.
This was Gopal's response when he was told about the concern voiced in the media about possible legal complications in the release of Veerappan's suspected associates in Karnataka and extremists in Tamil Nadu, Kamaraj said.
The release of former Terrorist And Disruptive Activities Act detenus in Karnataka was stayed by the Supreme Court on Tuesday, leading to speculation that the release of Dr Rajakumar may be delayed.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Law Minister D B Chandre Gowda told reporters in Bangalore that the government would file its counter-affidavit on Friday in response to the special leave petition by Abdul Karim against a Mysore court order dropping TADA charges against some suspected Veerappan associates. Karim's son Shakeel Ahmad, a sub-inspector in the special task force of the Karnataka government, had been killed by Veerappan's gang. Karim himself is a retired deputy superintendent of police.
The state government would explain the 'compelling situation' under which it decided to drop charges when the apex court resumed hearing on the SLP on September 1, he said.
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