Veerappan threatens to behead hostages
Forest brigand Veerappan has threatened to behead the nine Karnataka forest personnel he is holding hostage if his demand -- granting him an amnesty -- is not conceded within 10 days.
Disclosing this to the media, Tamil Nadu government emissary
and Nakkeeran editor R Gopal who met Veerappan in his forest hideout, said the notorious criminal was also adamant that all the 10 demands for his surrender and the release of the hostages should be met.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, who watched a
video cassette sent by Veerappan detailing his demands and other
conditions, said he would discuss the matter with the Karnataka
government after his return from Delhi, the editor said.
Veerappan is insisting that the grant of amnesty should be written down like a land deal signed by the Tamil Nadu and Karnataka chief ministers.
He says the Tamil Nadu government should convey
its decision through All India Radio before the end of the
month, failing which he would kill the hostages.
The brigand told Gopal that he was not begging for his life as was sought to made out in the press.
Gopal said his mission was over for the time being and it was
for the two governments to take a decision and convey it to
Stating that he was risking his life whenever he met the
poacher, Gopal said, "I cannot act as a postman." Moreover, he added,
Veerappan is a hardcore criminal and there is no guarantee that
he would not harm him and his men.
''Next time I go into the forest, Veerappan may hold me also
hostage, to exert pressure on the governments,'' he added.
He said Velayutham, one of the hostages who knew Tamil, had
written a letter to Karunanidhi and another hostage to Karnataka
Chief Minister J H Patel, urging them to save their lives.
The editor said he had handed over the letters and the cassette
to Karunanidhi on Wednesday evening. The chief minister had instructed the chief secretary to send the letter and a copy of the cassette to Patel.
Gopal said the hostages were in good condition, but seemed worried and dejected as each day passed.
He said the hostages had been shifted to nine hideouts so far and were made to trek, on an average, 15 km a day in the forest terrain.
Only when the hostages were reluctant to trek did Veerappan
shout at them. Otherwise, he treated them well.
The editor described as false reports in a section of the
media that the hostages were handcuffed. Only on the day
of their capture were their hands tied, Veerappan
All the hostages were given three meals a day and Veerappan
had even allowed Gopal's team to give them bread,biscuits and some medicines, the editor added.
Veerappan warned the hostages that if anyone escaped
from his custody, he would severe the limbs of the
other hostages. This had instilled fear in the hostages and
they were unanimous that none of them
would make any attempt to escape, Gopal said.
The hostages, Gopal said, had threatened to go on a fast
till he rescued them, but he had dissuaded them, saying such a step
would aggravate the situation.
He said the capture of the forest personnel was a well-executed
plan. Veerappan's men, in the disguise of forest personnel, had
watched their movements for nearly 10 days before abducting them at
Gopal faulted both the Tamil Nadu and Karnataka governments for
underestimating the strength of the Veerappan gang. The police
in the two states had claimed that there were only four
or five men left with the brigand. But Gopal had seen at least 20
In another development, Karnataka Minister of State for Home R Roshan Baig said his government will take a decision on the amnesty demand after seeing the video cassette sent by him.
Addressing the media in Mangalore, he said the amnesty demand
was new as he had only sought protection to his life earlier.
Granting amnesty would involve several legal procedures and the
government would have to look into them.
He said Director General of Police T Srinivasulu, who rushed to Madras on Thursday morning, would return with the
cassette on Friday.
He denied reports that some of the hostages had been freed.
Cough... cough... cough... to save your lives!
'If the police kills two of his men, Veerappan kills four policemen'