Palar bomb blast case: Veerappan aide released from jail | Bengaluru

Forest brigand Veerappan’s aide and 1993 Palar bomb blast accused Jnanaprakash was released from Mysuru Central Jail on Tuesday.

Jnanaprakash (68), who was serving life imprisonment, was suffering from cancer and was released by the Supreme Court on humanitarian grounds on November 26.

Advocate P Baburaj on Monday filed a petition in the Chamarajanagara district and sessions court seeking the release of Jnanaprakash on the Supreme Court’s order.

After receiving the endorsement of two people 5 lakh bail, the court directed the in-charge of Mysuru central jail to release the accused.

According to police documents, Jnanaprakash, Veerappan, Simon, Bilavendran and Meese Madaiah were accused in the April 8, 1993 blast that killed 22 policemen and forest workers near the Palar bridge between Male Mahadeshwara hills and Mettur in Tamil Nadu.

The accused, Simon, detonated a landmine in a police van belonging to a special team jointly formed by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to nab Veerappa. The explosion killed 22 people.

Tamil Nadu STF chief K Gopala Krishnan was also seriously injured in the blast.

After the blast, the Karnataka STF headed by Shankar Bidari registered a case under TADA against 124 people and managed to arrest four accused within three months.

The Terrorism and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) court in Mysuru convicted all the accused in 1997 and sentenced them to death.

Jnanaprakash, a native of Martalli in Chamarajanagar district, and three others filed an appeal in the Supreme Court seeking commutation of the sentence. In 2014, the Supreme Court commuted the death penalty to life imprisonment.

Forest canoeist Veerappan was killed in an encounter by Tamil Nadu police on 18 October 2004. The other two accused, Simon and Bilavendran, died while in jail. Another accused, Meesekara Madaiah, is in jail.

“Given the state of health of the convict, we have appealed to the Supreme Court to request bail. The court accepted our plea and ordered bail on humanitarian grounds,” lawyer P Baburaj told reporters.

Jnanaprakash was diagnosed with lung cancer a year and a half ago and underwent chemotherapy treatment at Kidwai Hospital in Bengaluru.

“I am being treated at Kidwai Hospital. When I went to jail, the three children were too young. The court allowed me to stay with them in my last days,” Jnanaprakash told reporters.

He said that he started weaving and worked as a prison guard, but due to deteriorating health conditions, he stopped working for two years.

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