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Pleas to Veerappan flood radio

Bangalore, Aug. 29: It was a deja vu in Karnataka as All India Radio got into the act with mercy pleas to Veerappan, who has kept former minister and Janata Dal leader H. Nagappa hostage since Sunday night.

Similar appeals had been aired two years ago when the forest brigand abducted Kannada cinema icon Raj Kumar.

The main appellant today was Nagappa’s wife Parimala.

Even as the entreaties for the release and safekeeping were being made, the Karnataka government continued with its “policy” to hunt down the captor.

The state home department sent a new request to the Centre seeking four battalions of paramilitary forces — two battalions each of the CRPF and the Rapid Action Force — and crack commandos to assist the Special Task Force. Home minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge confirmed that the request has been made. He also added that there would be no let up in the hunt.

The government had earlier requested the Centre for specialised surveillance and intelligence-gathering units, which are already on the way to the task forces of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, involved in combing operations deep inside the Satyamangalam forests.

This is not the first time that Central forces are being deployed in Veerappan hunt. In 1993, the Centre had deployed the BSF in the region. But it failed to capture the brigand despite a two-year operation.

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