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'Veerappan has promised to give up violence'

By Our Staff Reporter

BANGALORE, NOV. 18. The former Karnataka Director-General and Inspector-General of Police, Mr. T. Srinivasulu, today said the forest brigand, Veerappan, and Tamil extremists in his company had assured the Tamil Nationalist Movement leader, Mr. P. Nedumaran, that they would abjure from violence and stop attacking their enemies in the future.

At a press conference here, Mr. Srinivasulu, a friend of Mr. Nedumaran for last two decades and who had also prevailed upon the pro-LTTE leader to undertake a mission to the forests to get the Kannada actor, Mr. Rajkumar, released, said Mr. Nedumaran had suggested to Veerappan to return to the mainstream and take the first steps to rehabilitation. Stating that it was not correct to dub Mr. Nedumaran as an anti-national, the former DGP said the Tamil leader was a ``true Gandhian'' and a ``confirmed Congressman''.

``Mr. Nedumaran has proved his love for India by averting a permanent cleavage between Kannadigas and Tamilians and in bringing cheer to the family of Mr. Rajkumar and millions of his fans by securing the thespian's safe release,'' he noted.

Mr. Srinivasulu, who retired recently from service, said he and Mr. B. G. Koshy, president of the Rainbow Forum, had met Mr. Nedumaran on November 11, after he decided to withdraw from venturing into the forests as he was dubbed an anti-national by a few members of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly.

``We impressed upon him not to be bogged down by allegations and criticisms and undertake a mission to the forests on humanitarian grounds to get Mr. Rajkumar released,'' Mr. Srinivasulu said.

Mr. Nedumaran, according to the former DGP, had told them that ``I will not disappoint friends like you. Neither can I let down Mr. Rajkumar and his family. I am not an anti-national or a traitor. I love India and I only want greater sympathy and understanding for Tamils suffering in Sri Lanka. How can I keep quiet when Tamils are being massacred?''

Mr. Srinivasulu said Mr. Nedumaran believed that he a was a Tamilian first and an Indian next and there was nothing wrong in holding such an opinion.

Mr. Koshy said it was Mr. Nedumaran who had saved the former Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi's life after boulders were hurled at her car in Madurai when she was out of power in 1979.

``Mr. Nedumaran was injured while saving Indira Gandhi and was hospitalised. The Union Government had then deputed Mr. Srinivasulu to conduct an inquiry,'' Mr. Koshy said in defence of the Tamil leader.

Mr. Srinivasulu and Mr. Koshy said Mr. Nedumaran had changed his mind and agreed to undertake a mission only after getting an assurance that efforts to free the TADA detenus would be hastened, interim compensation would be paid immediately to the victims of STF atrocities and the Justice Sadashiva Commission of Inquiry would be made functional soon again.

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