Forest brigand Veerappan’s widow, three others arrested (Lead)

November 26th, 2008 - 10:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Nov 26 (IANS) Muthulakshmi, wife of slain forest brigand Veerappan, and three others were arrested in the early hours of Wednesday from the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border by the Karnataka police for five criminal cases against them, the police said.Besides Muthulakshmi, the three who were arrested were Ponnuswamy, ‘tailor’ Seena and ‘tailor’ Bose.

All four have been sent to jail till Dec 22 by a court in Chamarajanagar, about 180 km from here.

Muthulakshmi was taken to a jail in the neighbouring district of Mysore while the others will remain in a Chamarajanagar jail.

“Muthulakshmi was picked up near Mettur, following a non-bailable warrant issued against her by a Karnataka court,” Inspector General of Police J.V. Gaonkar told IANS.

“The warrant was issued on Nov 6 by the Chamarajanagar district sessions court but the arrests could not be carried out as Muthulakshmi and others filed appeals in the Karnataka high court seeking anticipatory bail,” sub-inspector T. Ashok Kumar said by phone from Chamarajanagar, about 180 km from here.

The anticipatory bail pleas were rejected by the high court and “we moved in to execute the warrant”, he said.

“There are four TADA (now repealed Terrorist and Disruptive Activities [prevention] Act) cases and one murder case against them,” Kumar said. Mettur is about 180 km from here.

The cases include murder of a Karnataka deputy conservator of forest Srinivas in 1991, killing of M. Shakeel Ahmed, a sub-inspector in the Special Task Force set up by Karnataka to nab Veerappan in 1992, and the 1993 bomb blast in Palar near Mettur in Tamil Nadu in which over 20 policemen were killed, he said.

Muthulakshmi and the other three are charged with being accomplice in the crimes.

Veerappan, a notorious sandalwood smuggler and elephant poacher, ruled the forests on the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border for nearly two decades till he was shot dead by Tamil Nadu police Oct 18, 2004, in the jungles of Dharmapuri bordering Karnataka.

Asked whether the Tamil Nadu police help was taken in arresting Muthulakshmi, Kumar said: “No. It was our operation. We were gathering information on her movements once the court issued a non-bailable warrant against her. We picked her up and the others in the early hours of Wednesday near Mettur.”

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