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Monday, Oct 18, 2021
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Mission Aborted

‘Either amnesty or nine heads, Veerappan told me....’ An account by Nakkheeran’s Gopal of his fruitless talks with the smuggler

Mission Aborted
Mission Aborted
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

IT was the usual Sunday for me on July 13. As I sat discussing politics with columnist Chinna Kuthoosi, I never reckoned that tension and high drama would grip me over the next 10 days. It all began when my pager beeped the message from my associate editor Kamaraj that Veerappan had kidnapped seven Karnataka forest officials and that I should meet Inspector General (intelligence) A.X. Alexander immediately.

Within an hour, Jayaprakash, my Hosur-Darmapuri reporter, confirmed that 10 people had been kidnapped. One had been immediately sent back with two audio cassettes—one for Karnataka chief minister J.H. Patel and the other for the state forest minister—detailing Veerappan’s demands.

The following afternoon, Alexander called to say that Tamil Nadu chief minister M. Karunanidhi had received a fax from his Karnataka counterpart seeking help and that the government would like Nakkheeran’s help to secure the release of the hostages. Tamil Nadu home secretary R. Poornalingam soon had the letters from the Tamil Nadu and...

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