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Gopal leaves on third peace mission to Veerappan

Short and sallow, with a moustache wrapped around his face, R R Gopal, editor of the Tamil news magazineNakkeeran, makes for an unlikely hero. But he was the cynosure of all eyes as he walked into the forest to secure the release of eight Karnataka forest personnel held hostage by sandalwood smuggler Veerappan. There is an added sheen to Gopal's current trip since it augurs the surrender of the forest brigand.

This is Gopal's third peace mission and this time, besides bringing back the hostages, he will finalise the date, time and place of Veerappan's surrender.

According to an official press release from Home Secretary R Poornalingam, Gopal met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi at the latter's home before undertaking his mission.

The governments of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka decided to send Gopal as an emissary after accepting Veerappan's offer on Tuesday to release the hostages and surrender without pressing his earlier demand for ransom or for general amnesty.

EARLIER STORY: Karnataka, Tamil Nadu accept Veerappan's offer of surrender

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