Karnataka: Villagers Meet Veerappan Aides in Jail

Karnataka: Villagers Meet Veerappan Aides in Jail
Some villagers of Kollegal today met four aides of forest brigand Veerappan, who are facing death row after rejection of their mercy plea by the President, at the Hindalga central jail here today.

The four from Kollegal in Chamrajnagar district of Karnataka, where the families of Veerappan lived, were allowed to meet Gnanaprakash (Veerappan's brother), Simon, Meesekar Madaiah and Bilavendran, jail sources said.

"Though Gnanaprakash broke down when he met us in the jail saying all of them were innocent and had not committed any crime, the other three did not express any emotions on their countenance, but the anxiety within was obvious," Alexander Joseph, one of the villagers, told reporters here.

Martin Kumar Joseph, another villager, said "the four are keeping faith in God and hope that the apex court will commute their death sentences."

Asked whether the convicts were disappointed that their family members did not visit them in the jail, villager Antony Swamy said they could not see them because they were living in poverty. "Kollegal, where their families are living, is far away from Belgaum," he said.

The Supreme Court had yesterday stayed the execution of death sentence of the four, who were awarded capital punishment for the Palar landmine blast in 2004 that left 22 police personnel dead.
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