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Jayalalithaa ticks off Kharge in letter to Krishna
N Sathiya Moorthy in Chennai | December 12, 2002 18:33 IST
She also ticked off Karnataka Home Minister Mallikarjun Kharge for fuelling media speculation on Veerappan's claims about the Tamil Nadu Special Task Force's involvement in Nagappa's killing.
"Instead of an authoritative rebuttal of media-sponsored speculations, the imputation-by-implication sort of responses by Kharge to the press, for reasons best-known to him, will only vitiate the atmosphere amidst the public in Karnataka apart from endangering the joint operation for Veerappan's capture," Jayalalithaa said in the letter.
"It will also create suspicion and bad blood in the field among the officers and men," she added.
"The capture of Veerappan is a mission that both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have now embarked upon in right earnest, and thus it must transcend all political considerations. Nothing must be done to stoke the embers of suspicion, or fuel speculation at a critical moment like this."
In a tongue-in-cheek statement, Jayalalithaa said, "The war against Veerappan should be fought in the forests where Veerappan lurks, not in the columns of the media. The hunt for the brigand should be our only objective and nothing should stand in the way of this objective, particularly not the sort of ambiguous implicating responses to provocative questions from the press given by Kharge."
She referred to Tamil Nadu STF chief W I Dawaram's instant denial of Veerappan's claims made in his sixth audiocassette message and pointed out that Nagappa's body had been found 40km within the Karnataka border.
Simultaneously, she raked up another issue, referring to media reports about the recovery of the body of Karnataka STF personnel from near the site. "This clearly establishes that it was the Karnataka STF which was involved in combing operations prior to the murder of Nagappa by Veerappan. It also conclusively shows that the Tamil Nadu STF was in no way involved in the episode," she said.
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