Bangalore, Nov. 4: A solution continued to elude the 72-day-old hostage crisis in Karnataka after the state government rejected Veerappan’s latest demand to send minister Raju Gowda as emissary to negotiate the release of former minister H. Nagappa.
“We have decided not to send any minister or legislator as emissaries for any reason whatsoever,” information minister Kagodu Thimappa said today after a meeting of the Cabinet in state capital Bangalore.
The forest brigand had conveyed his demand through a cassette that reached the government last night.
Veerappan has sent four cassettes since he abducted the Janata Dal (United) leader on August 25.
In all his messages, he has demanded that Tamil nationalist leader Kolathur Mani, who is in Bellary jail and faces as many as five cases, be sent as emissary.
Veerappan repeated the demand in Sunday’s cassette but added that the minister should also be sent. Veerappan’s earlier choices as companions for Mani were Tamil leader P. Nedumaran and Janata Dal leader Mahadeva Swamy.
The demand to send Swamy and Mani together was made nearly a month ago.
Swamy had then expressed his readiness to go alone. In a message that was broadcast through All India Radio, Swamy had said he was willing to meet Veerappan if his solo mission was acceptable to him.
But Veerappan rejected the offer. He was adamant that Mani should accompany Swamy.