That there was no surprise element in Nagappa’s abduction is clear from the fact that he was atop Veerappan’s hit-list and had been provided armed security. There should also have been enough lessons learned from Veerappan’s last kidnapping. But this time too the reaction of the STF in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka ran to a familiar script. Many curious facts have emerged in the Nagappa kidnapping which show up police and STF complacency:
- Nagappa, who has been on Veerappan’s hit-list, was provided with three armed guards for round-the-clock duty but none were around when it mattered.
- After grabbing Nagappa, a 66-year-old diabetic, Veerappan and his men walked two km, hijacked a government bus, abandoned it when they sighted a police jeep with Kollegal circle inspector Sashikumar on the Chennalinganahalli road, and disappeared into the jungle. Instead of firing in the gang’s direction or giving chase, the seven policemen searched the bus and reported their findings to higher authorities.