Trial begins in Rajkumar kidnap case

Erode: The long-pending trial on the kidnapping of late Kannada thespian Rajkumar by forest brigand Veerappan commenced at a fast track court in Gobichettipalayam in the district today.

Rajkumar was kidnapped on the night of July 30, 2000 by Veerappan and his associates while taking rest in his farmhouse at Dhodda Gajanure village, four km from Thalawady, Tamil Nadu.

The popular actor was released after a 108-day ordeal on Nov 15, 2000 by Veerappan, who was shot dead in a joint operation by the special task forces of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu four years later. Besides Veerappan, other accused Sethukuzi Govindan and Rangasamy are already dead.

When the the trial commenced today, ten accused in the case, all former associates of Veerappan, appeared in court. On behalf of witness, S A Govindarajan, the son-in-law of Rajkumar, another relative Nagesh and film director Nagappa appeared in court.