A Catholic priest, who is a relative of Bilavendran, one of the four convicts in the Palar landmine blast case whose mercy petition was rejected by the President, has said that he had confessed to him, though informally, that he was innocent.
Fr John Bosco, assistant priest of St Antony’s Shrine at Dornahalli near here, has known Bilavendran for the past 35 years as he is married to his cousin. Fr Bosco said he had made this informal confession when he was lodged in Mysore Central Prison along with the three others. “He was never part of the Veerappan gang and had only supplied them food on a few occasions when they were around Martahallli, that too out of fear,” the priest said.
The priest claimed that Bilavendran was framed in the case as it was easy for the police to prove his involvement, as his father Moses, possessed a licensed gun. According to the priest, Bilavendran who was a popular electrician in his village Martalli and a maize farmer, was picked up from home and not captured during an encounter, as the police claimed.