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Union minister against sending army to nab Veerappan

Union Minister of State for Personnel S R Balasubramaniam on Thursday said no hasty step like calling the army or paramilitary forces should be taken to secure the release of the six people held hostage by forest brigand Veerappan.

Addressing the media in Madras, he said the Karnataka and Tamil Nadu governments should work out a "practicable" solution to secure the release of the hostages without endangering their lives.

Launching a broadside against former Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalitha Jayaram, the minister said her statement that he had hailed Veerappan as a hero was false.

He said Jayalalitha, who had demanded that the army's help be sought to nab Veerappan, had ridiculed a similar demand raised by him in the assembly during the previous AIADMK regime.

She had no moral right to criticise the Karnataka and Tamil Nadu governments that they were at Veerappan's mercy, he said.


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