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Bullets deepen mystery

Bangalore, Dec. 11: More question marks today arose in the Nagappa murder case after 27 used AK 47 cartridge shells and three spent bullets were recovered within 300 yards of the spot where the Janata Dal leader was found dead.

His personal belongings, including the diary he kept during his three-month captivity, were found by a search party in the Chengdi forests.

Today’s find is bound to give a twist to existing theories on the manner of Nagappa’s killing. The official version is that Veerappan shot him dead from point blank range. But the bandit has claimed that Nagappa was fatally wounded in an encounter his gang had with the Special Task Force of Tamil Nadu police.

In a late-evening press release, the office of the Karnataka director-general of police confirmed that the AK 47 shells and bullets had been found and claimed that members of the STF led by Jyothi Prakash Mirji had spotted them. It also said that Nagappa’s personal belongings had been found.

But Kiran Patel, son-in-law of the murdered leader, claimed a team led by Nagappa’s family members and comprising locals as well as members of the STF had discovered the items.

“The STF had come along essentially because the Chengdi forests are dangerous. But they had no real role in discovering these items,” he said.

It was Patel who first let on that Nagappa’s diary had been found by the search team. He said the family was going through the diary and vital information would be disclosed in a couple of days.

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