When Energy Star’s father Rajkumar was kidnapped by forest brigand Veerappan

Barely eight months after Energy Star Puneeth Rajkumar had married Ashwini Revanath, the Rajkumar household was jolted by infamous forest brigand Veerappan. Rajkumar, the legendary Kannada actor, was on a go to to his palatial home in Tamil Nadu’s Erode district when Veerappan kidnapped him alongside together with his son-in-law Govindraj, his relative Nagesh and assistant movie director Nagappa.

Rajkumar was kidnapped on July 30, 2000, from his native village, Gajanur. The kidnapping is considered one of the vital sensational hostage crises within the nation. It drew sharp criticism even from the Supreme Court docket, which made a chastising remark for the then Tamil Nadu authorities led by M Karunanidhi.

The Supreme Court docket termed the Tamil Nadu authorities’s failure to depute police personnel at Rajkumar’s Gajanur residence as an “unpardonable” mistake. The remarks got here within the view of intelligence enter for the previous yr that Rajkumar confronted a risk from Veerappan if and when he visited Gajanur.

How Rajkumar was kidnapped (Picture: India At the moment Journal)

The Particular Investigation Group (SIT) constituted to trace Veerappan had in 1999 warned that the forest brigand was planning to focus on Rajkumar. A Supreme Court docket bench of three judges had then stated, “It’s unpardonable that regardless of getting particular data that Rajkumar is perhaps kidnapped from Gajanur farmhouse, the federal government didn’t take any step to forestall this.”

The Tamil Nadu authorities had earlier dropped fees underneath TADA (Terrorist And Disruptive Actions Prevention Act) in opposition to Veerappan. The kidnapping led to an outpouring of rage by the followers of Rajkumar. A protracted negotiation between Veerappan and the federal government emissaries, significantly involving Nakkeeran journal editor RR Gopal passed off with out yielding a consequence.

Rajkumar was lastly let out by Veerappan after 108 days in November. However circumstances of his launch remained a thriller.

One-and-a-half years later, Puneeth Rajkumar born as Lalith debuted as lead actor within the Kannada movie, Appu, which turned successful. He had already earned a reputation for himself as a baby actor profitable a number of awards together with the Nationwide Movie Award for the most effective youngster artist.

What have been Veerappan’s calls for? (Picture: India At the moment Journal)

The case of Rajkumar’s abduction continued in a Tamil Nadu court docket for a number of years. The Rajkumar household didn’t depose earlier than the court docket throughout the trial of the case. In September 2018 18 years after Rajkumar’s abduction, all 9 accused have been acquitted by the court docket. The Rajkumar household’s determination to not depose earlier than the court docket was reportedly one of many causes for his or her acquittal.

Each Veerappan and Rajkumar had died by the point the kidnapping case got here to an in depth. Veerappan was killed in an encounter with the SIT in 2004. Rajkumar handed away in 2006.

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