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Krishna not to attend Nagappa's funeral
Fakir Chand in Bangalore | December 09, 2002 17:26 IST
Karnataka Chief Minister S M Krishna is not going to Kamagere to attend the funeral of the slain former minister H Nagappa, scheduled for Monday evening.
Though earlier reports indicated that Krishna would attend the state funeral, the visit was cancelled on the advice of intelligence and security agencies.
Nagappa, who was abducted by forest brigand Veerappan on August 25, was found dead in Changdi jungles on Sunday evening. Nagappa's supporters blame the Krishna government for not doing enough to secure their leader's release from the bandit's captivity.
A tense-looking Krishna, who returned to the city from Dehli on Monday afternoon, told the media that a cabinet meeting had been scheduled later in the evening to take stock of the situation.
Krishna refused to comment on the exact cause of Nagappa's death. "The post-mortem was completed only a couple of hours ago," he said.
Karnataka Home Minister Mallikarjuna Kharge had confirmed to the media earlier in the day that Nagappa's body bore bullet marks on his chest. "He might have died because of bullet wounds." Kharge had said.
Police officials told rediff.com that initial reports of the inquest indicated that Nagappa was shot from a close range.
Krishna said his security advisor, T Srinivasulu, would be leaving for Coimbatore later in the evening to meet Tamil Nadu Special Task Force head Walter Dewaram to chalk out details of a joint operation to capture Veerappan -- dead or alive.
Admitting that Nagappa's death could have been averted if only the state government had acted fast, Krishna said his government, as well as the opposition, owe an explanation to the people.
Asked whether a CBI inquiry would be ordered to verify the conflicting reports on Nagappa's death, Krishna said the cabinet would deliberate on the matter.
"A thorough inquiry will be ordered after we get the post-mortem report to find out whether Nagappa was killed by Veerappan or died in an encounter between the Tamil Nadu STF and the outlaw's gang. It is too early to speculate on the nature of Nagappa's death as the Tamil Nadu government has denied Veerappan's version about the alleged encounter," Krishna said.
The chief minister acknowledged that Nagappa's death was bound to have a political fallout. "But our priority right now is take care of the law and order situation. We are concentrating on monitoring the tense situation prevailing in three southern districts of the state," Krishna said.
The chief minister declined to comment on Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani's statement ruling out Nagappa's death in an encounter with the Tamil Nadu STF.
Referring to the criticism of the opposition parties on the failure of the state government in preventing Nagappa's death, Krishna said they (the opposition) owe an explanation to the people as to why they opposted STF operations against Veerappan throughout the 106-day hostage crisis.
More reports from Karnataka
Read about: Telgi case | H Nagappa Abduction