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Veerappan encounter was fake: Rights activists

January 20, 2005 22:19 IST

Human rights activists have claimed that the Special Task Force had staged-managed the encounter in which forest brigand Veerappan and his three associates were killed in October last year.

According to a report in The Asian Age, activists of 10 human rights organisations have claimed that a lady known to Veerappan had drugged the four. The STF took them in its custody after they fell unconscious and took them to a camp near the river Cauvery.

There, the four were tortured and killed, the activists told a press conference in Chennai on Wednesday, the paper reported.

The activists also released a report of a fact-finding team, comprising representatives of eight human rights groups from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Pondicherry, which claimed that the brigand was in STF custody for two days before he was killed.

The fact-finding team interviewed many locals of the region where Veerappan was active and also his relatives.

The locals told the team they found many police vehicles in the area on the evening of October 16, the day Veerappan was caught by the STF, the spokesman of the activists, Ramaswamy, who represented the People's Democratic Forum of Karnataka, said.

He said Veerappan's photographs showed wound marks on his body and indicated he was tortured.

Ramaswamy said the report would be submitted to the Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh governments. The activists would also file a public interest litigation in court to ascertain the truth about Veerappan's killing, he added.