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|September 19, 2000||
Gopal will go back to jungle on Wednesday
Official emissary R R Gopal would leave for the forests on Wednesday to meet fugitive Veerappan, in his fourth attempt to secure the release of Kannada actor Rajakumar and three others kept as hostage by him, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi announced in Madras today.
Gopal met him today and said he was reluctant to go into the forests because of the Supreme Court adjourning the case for October 11, but he had convinced the former to venture into the forests to explain to Veerappan the steps taken by Tamil Nadu and Karnataka governments to secure the release of TADA detenues in the two states' prisons, Karunanidhi told reporters on Tuesday evening.
He said he had discussions on the telephone with his Karnataka counterpart S M Krishna, and the decision to resend Gopal was a joint one, Karunanidhi said.
"In fact, Gopal refused to go on the plea that nothing tangible could be achieved, but I had prevailed upon him to meet Veerappan," Karunanidhi said.
Karunanidhi added that Gopal would explain to Veerappan the steps taken by both the governments in releasing the Tada detenues in the two states.
Gopal would also ascertain the health conditions of Rajakumar who has been in captivity for more than fifty days now, Karunanidhi said.
He refused to comment on the Supreme Court's decision to adjourn the case to October 11. "As a responsible man, I will not comment on it," he said.
Asked whether he would meet Prime Minister A B Vajpayee to apprise the latter of the issue, Karunanidhi said he had no problem in meeting him. But what was the use in meeting him now, he asked, adding that a decision would be taken in this regard after Gopal returned from the woods.
Karunanidhi said both the governments were interested in protecting the interests of linguistic minorities in the states and appealed to the people to maintain restraint.
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