'Punish erring STF personnel'

SALEM, NOV. 27. The State president of the BJP, Mr. S. P. Kirubanidhi, said that if the STF personnel, who were earlier deployed on the trail of the forest brigand, Veerappan, had committed excesses, they should be identified and duly punished.

Addressing Presspersons here today, the BJP leader said that if the punishment was viewed as `not enough', the Government could think of constituting another commission of enquiry, as demanded by certain leaders.

Mr. Kirubanidhi said that if Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, which were confident of nabbing Veerappan with the help of the STF, could not succeed in the mission, the Central Government's help could be sought. In such an eventuality, the two States could urge the Centre to send commando forces, and the State BJP would also support their stand.

Asked whether the Veerappan issue could be viewed as a State or Central problem, Mr. Kirubanidhi said it was believed that certain extremist elements too had joined the Veerappan gang. If the number of the extremists was small, it could be construed as a State problem and if it exceeded the anticipated level, it could be a Central problem.

The BJP leader said that there was no need for the Tamil Nadu Government to bring out a `white paper' on how the release of the Kannada matinee idol, Mr. Rajkumar, was obtained.

To highlight the achievements of the BJP-led Government at the Centre, a `lotus yatra' was being taken out simultaneously from four places in Tamil Nadu such as Mandaikadu in Kanyakumari, Rameswaram in Ramanathapuram, Denkanikottai and Gudalur in the Nilgiris. The `yatras' would converge at Sri Rangam temple on December 1, and on the next day a rally and public meeting would be organised at Tiruchi, he said.

Referring to the language issue, he said that the BJP had taken a stand that Tamil, as a medium of instruction, must be given priority from First to Fifth Standards.