//Cyanide in buttermilk killed Veerappan: Widow

Cyanide in buttermilk killed Veerappan: Widow

CHENNAI, Jan. 31. — The mystery surrounding the killing of Veerappan deepens as fresh charges are made by his wife, Muthulakshmi, contesting Special Task Force’s version of the story. In her latest plea in Madras High Court yesterday, she said that her husband had been poisoned to death with cyanide. Moving three writ miscellaneous petitions, Muthulakshmi contended that fresh evidence indicated that cyanide mixed in buttermilk had undone her husband. Unused cyanide seized from a witnesses who had refused to administer it to the sandalwood smuggler is available along with audio as well as video confessions of witnesses, Veerappan’s widow said.

The STF was alleged to have offered Rs 7 lakh to nine people asking them to administer cyanide to Veerappan. Ammasi, who refused to poison Veerappan, kept it in a tree trunk and told Pazhani, father-in-law of Maathiayan, Veerappan’s elder brother serving a life sentence, not to give it to Veerappan.

However, Pazhani gave cyanide-laced buttermilk to Veerappan. Ammasi had himself been taken into custody two days ahead of a purportedly death-dealing “encounter” with Veerappan and was released later. The evidence is based on Ammasi’s confessions.

In an earlier inquiry, a fact-finding committee said that the smuggler had been kept in custody for two days before being tortured and killed. The writs were filed with Muthulakshmi’s earlier case remaining pending. She asked the High Court previously to order another autopsy and a CBI inquiry. On Monday, Muthulakshmi asked that the money given to the STF be recovered and distributed among the victims of its atrocities. She wanted criminal prosecution of and departmental action against the additional director-general of police and former STF chief, Mr K Vijayakumar, and STF officials “making up a false case.” — SNS