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Nagappa found dead in Changdi forest
Fakir Chand in Bangalore |
December 09, 2002 00:41 IST
Karnataka Home Minister Mallikarjuna Kharge confirmed in Bangalore on Sunday that the body of abducted former Janata Dal minister, H Nagappa, was found in the Changdi forest area near MM Hills in Chamarajanagar district, bordering Tamil Nadu.
Nagappa was abducted by forest brigand Veerappan from his house over three months back.
Earlier, in the morning Nagappa's family had received an audio-cassette from the outlaw, in which he claimed he had abandoned Nagappa in the jungle on Thursday following an encounter with a unit of Tamil Nadu's special task force. Veerappan also said that Nagappa was injured in the encounter.
Senior officials in Tamil Nadu, however, denied that their special forces had any such encounter with the bandit.
Janatal Dal leader Ponnachi Mahadevaswamy and a platoon of the Special Task Force rushed to Changdi late on Sunday evening to bring back Nagappa's body to his Kamagere residence.
"We will be able to ascertain what caused Nagappa's death only after a post-mortem is conducted. I cannot say now how he died," a visibly-shaken Kharge told the media in Bangalore.
The Karnataka government has decided to give a state funeral to Nagappa at his native town on Monday.
All state government offices and courts across the state will remain closed on Monday as a mark of respect to the 63-year-old leader.
All educational institutions, including schools and colleges will also remain shut.
Meanwhile, the Karnataka Special Task Force has launched a massive combing operation to hunt down the bandit in the Satyamangalam forest.
"The Tamil Nadu government has also been requested by the state government to rush its STF to the forest," Kharge disclosed.
"Krishna is rushing back to Bangalore on Monday morning to take stock of the situation. He will be going to Kamagere to attend the funeral along with other cabinet ministers, political part leaders and other officials," Kharge said.
Kharge, however, did not disclose the contents of the sixth cassette sent by Veerappan to Nagappa's residence on Sunday morning.
He lamented that Nagappa could not be rescued in spite of the best efforts of the state government to secure his release.
"We were making all out efforts to send Tamil activist Kolathur Mani as an official emissary as sought by Veerappan to secure Nagappa's release. This is a tragic and sad news for the entire state," Kharge said.