The beleaguered Karnataka government on Monday night declined to disclose the demands of forest brigand Veerappan for the release of Janata Dal leader and ex-minister H Nagappa whom he had abducted on Sunday night.
Nagappa was picked up by the brigand from his house in Kamagere near Hanur in Kollegal taluk (Chamarajnagar district) on the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border.
Briefing mediapersons after an all-party meeting in Bangalore, Chief Minister S M Krishna said the audio cassette, which Veerappan was said to have left behind before vanishing into the forests with his hostage, was yet to reach the state government.
"The audio cassette is being brought by the police to Bangalore and will reach here late on Monday night. Only after we listen to it, will we know what his demands are," Krishna stated at the Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat.
According to sources privy to the contents of the tape, which was received by state Director General of Police V Bhaskar from Nagappa's friend, Veerappan is learnt to have sought the release of prisoners known to or associated with him and languishing in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka jails since long.
He also told the Karnataka and Tamil Nadu governments to curb the activities of the Special Task Force, they said adding, Krishna and state home minister Mallikarjuna Kharge were telephonically briefed about the demands. It is also learnt that the cassette runs for just a couple of minutes and is in Tamil.
Krishna, who rushed back to Bangalore from Belgaum to attend an all-party meet, said he would discuss the issue his Tamil Nadu counterpart J Jayalalithaa in Delhi on Tuesday evening.
They are scheduled to attend a meeting of the Cauvery River Authority chaired by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
At the all-party meet, Krishna sought the cooperation of all political parties and people in tackling the latest crisis.
"The need of the hour is to maintain peace and harmony as it was done two years ago when Rajakumar was abducted by the brigand," Krishna told the parties.
State Law Minister Chandre Gowda told rediff.com that Krishna would go ahead with his US visit on Wednesday as scheduled.
The issue had come up during the all-party meet, Gowda claimed.
Meanwhile, Kharge is expected to call on Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani in Bangalore on Tuesday morning to seek the Centre's support in tackling the Veerappan menace.
Advani is expected in Bangalore on Tuesday for inaugurating a two-day meet of the BJP.
Why did Veerappan abduct Nagappa?
The saga of Veerappan
The Rajakumar Abduction: complete coverage
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