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July 31, 2000
Kidnapping exposes Karnataka police
Fakir Chand in Bangalore
The kidnapping of Kannada actor Dr Rajkumar has again exposed the state police, and Chief Minister S M Krishna will be under pressure to revamp the special task force, which has been searching in vain for Veerappan for over a decade. "It is a sad reflection that the Veerappan menace continues to haunt us," said a state home ministry official.
Veerapan has proudly admitted to killing over a 100 people, including several police officials mostly in Karnataka. The inability to capture the sandalwood smuggler has exposed a lack of political will and gross inadequacies in the police force.
Veerappan's offer to lay down arms after seeking general amnesty and a ransom of Rs 5 crore was rejected by the governments of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu a year ago.
According to police sources, the mustachioed brigand nurses ambitions of a political career in Tamil Nadu, where his backward class community, the Gounders, are electorally strong. It is this vote bank that was apparently behind Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's attempt to reform Veerappan.
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