Tamil bodies denounce brigand's demand

BANGALORE, SEPT. 2. Six City-based Tamil organisations have denounced Veerappan's latest demand for the announcement of a date for the unveiling of the statue of the Tamil poet, Thiruvalluvar, in Bangalore.

In a statement today, the organisations said the unveiling of Thiruvalluvar's statue concerned the knowledgeable Tamils in Bangalore who had genuine love and respect for the poet. "This cannot be converted into a political issue by a sandalwood smuggler and an anti-social element. It is an issue of understanding between two peoples and two cultures and we refuse to be dictated to by illegal forces," they said.

The unveiling of the statue, they maintained, could not be demanded by a brigand and an abductor as it would only degrade the status and reputation of Thiruvalluvar. "Tamils can never associate, sympathise or identify with Veerappan or his actions because it does not actually espouse the cause of Tamils."

They reiterated that if Veerappan, by chance, had any concern for the language "he is unfortunately born into", then he should immediately release Mr. Rajkumar without any conditions and surrender before the law.

The six signatories to the statement were Thiruvalluvar Sangam, The Bangalore Tamil Sangam, HAL Tamil Mandrum, BEML Tamil Mandrum, ITI Tamil Mandrum and BEL Tamil Mandrum.

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