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Police question Karunanidhi on Rajkumar kidnap

CHENNAI OCT. 13. The CB-CID today held enquiries with the former Chief Minister, M. Karunanidhi, in connection with the kidnapping of the Kannada filmstar, Rajkumar, by the forest brigand, Veerappan, in 2000.

Led by a Deputy Superintendent of Police, a team questioned the DMK leader at his residence here for about half hour.

Later answering questions from newspersons, Mr. Karunanidhi said he told the team that whenever the bandit indulged in kidnappings, the Tamil Nadu and Karnataka Governments worked jointly to rescue the victims. Similarly, efforts were made after Mr. Rajkumar was kidnapped.

He told the police about assurances given to Veerappan by the District Collector and the Chief Secretary when a DSP, Chidambaranathan, was taken hostage by the bandit's gang during the previous AIADMK regime, concessions offered by the Government, powers for entering the forest and how the government agreed to conditions, such as Veerappan's men should not be blocked by anyone.

In May, the former DMK Minister, Arcot N.Veerasamy, was questioned for about an hour by the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption in connection with alleged "payment of a ransom" for securing the release. During the demands for the Police department in the Assembly, the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, said she had ordered an enquiry by the DVAC into a "ransom payment", particularly Mr. Karunanidhi's role.

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