A court in Gobichettipalayam today acquitted all nine accused in the sensational abduction case of Kannada matinee idol Dr Rajkumar by forest brigand Veerappan in July 2000.
Additional district judge K Mani, while acquitting all the nine accused, tore into the prosecution for not presenting a watertight case.
Judge Mani, in his judgment on Tuesday, stated that the prosecution did not gather enough evidence against the accused in the case and “not even an iota of evidence was produced to show the accused were accomplices of Veerappan”.
The judge also said that Rajkumar’s family did not turn up to depose in front of the court during the trial.
The abduction took place on July 30, 2000, when Rajkumar was with his family at a farmhouse in Dhodda Gajanur village in Talavadi. The actor was held captive for 108 days in the jungle before he was released on November 15.
Talavadi police registered a case against 14 persons – Veerappan, Sethukuli Govindan, Chandre Gowda, Mallu, Maran, Govindaraj alias Iniyan, Andril alias Ezhumalai, Selvam alias Sathya, Amirthalingam, Pasuvanna, Nagaraj, Puttusamy, Kalmandirama and Ramesh.
The case was later transferred to Coimbatore CB-CID. On October 18, 2004, the Tamil Nadu Special Task Force carried out “Operation Cocoon” and killed Veerappan and his associates, Sethukuli Govindan and Chandre Gowda. While Mallu died, Ramesh is yet to be arrested.