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Krishna wants Centre to speed up arms assistance to STF

Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi | April 25, 2003 16:28 IST

Karnataka Chief Minister S M Krishna on Friday expressed impatience at the Centre's delay to provide arms to the Special Task Force in the state to apprehend forest brigand Veerappan.

He, however, added that the central government had shown earnestness in helping Karnataka out in apprehending the forest brigand. He also pointed out that the Centre had to import some of the equipment needed by the Special Task Force in its task of capturing Veerappan in the dense jungles in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Hoping that the equipment would be handed over to the STF as expeditiously as possible, he said, "Veerappan has been cornered. His movements are being closely monitored by the STF and we hope that we will get success soon."

Asked by this correspondent to comment on a television channel's report that two young men from Bangalore had financed their own uniform (of the STF) and separately joined the hunt for Veerappan, the chief minister said, "Anybody helping to capture him (the forest brigand) is welcome. But for security considerations, permission has to be taken from the STF."

The TV report said that while the STF top brass were impressed by the fortitude of the two young men, they had been sent back to Bangalore with the assurance that they would be later imparted training for capturing Veerappan. Asked whether Karnataka was satisfied by Tamil Nadu in the latter's cooperation on the Cauvery water dispute between the two states, Krishna answered in the affirmative. "We have received full cooperation from Tamil Nadu. After all, it affects both our states," he pointed out and added that he saw no harm in summoning the meeting of the Cauvery Monitoring Committee.

The chief minister disclosed that following his meeting with the Planning Commission Deputy Chairman K C Pant, Karnataka's plan size for 2003-2004 had been fixed at Rs 9620 croes while it wanted it to be Rs 9779 crores.

He pointed out that Pant had assured him that the plan could be 'stepped up' if the state's performance in some areas could be further improved.

"This is a blanket assurance," Krishna said and underscored that priority sectors for his state were power, tourism and agriculture. Karnataka had the highest arid zone after Rajasthan.

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