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`Reward kin of slain STF personnel'

By Our Staff Correspondent

MYSORE, OCT. 23 . Abdul Karim, retired Deputy Superintendent of Police, has urged the Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, to include the names of the "brave souls'', who died in the operations against the forest brigand, Veerappan, in the list of awardees and provide their kin with rewards befitting their sacrifice.

In a letter to Mr. Dharam Singh, Mr. Karim said it was an "unpardonable lapse'' on the part of the Chief Minister to "forget the martyrs" while announcing a Rs. 50-crore package of rewards for the Special Task Force (STF) personnel on the occasion of Police Martyrs Day.

Package

Mr. Dharam Singh had announced a package of Rs. 50 crores envisaging payment of cash rewards up to Rs. 5 lakhs, a residential site and a salary increment for 900 STF personnel.

Sacrifice

"But for the sacrifice of their lives made in the line of duty of nabbing Veerappan when the brigand was at his peak with a gang of more than 200 people in the 1990s, the present STF led by the Tamil Nadu Additional Director General of Police, Vijaykumar, could not have killed Veerappan now,'' Mr. Karim said.

The success of the Tamil Nadu and Karnataka STF in eliminating Veerappan, whose gang truncated to a mere five members, recently was scripted with the blood of slain STF officers of the two States over the years, Mr. Karim claimed.

"Yet, the State Government, which should be beholden to the brave police officers, has chosen to forget them on the occasion for remembering and honouring them," he said.

Mr. Karim requested the Chief Minister to announce rewards for the martyrs at the earliest in the interest of justice and equity.

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