MYSURU: A close aide of forest brigand Veerappan has died while serving his jail term at Parappana Agrahara Central prisons in Bengaluru on Saturday night. He suffered severe diabetes and other ailments.
He was shifted to Victoria Hospital from KR Hospital on April 4. Simon, an aide of slain forest brigand Veerappan, was the man who executed the task at the insistence of the latter that killed 22 people in the infamous Palar landmine blast at the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border. The deadly incident that occurred at Sorekai Madu in Tamil Nadu a few kms from the Karnataka border had left 30 injured, including SP Gopalakrishnan, popularly known as ‘Rambo’ Gopalakrishnan.
A native of Vaddaradoddi near Ramapura in Chamarajanagar district, he was once a quarry worker, and was in the prime of his youth, when Veerappan handpicked him for the job. “Simon, then 20 years old, had dug 14 pits to fill gelatin sticks into them and trigger the blast on April 9, 1993,” recalled D R Jaya Swamy who was a head constable with the special task force (STF) that was formed to nab the elusive forest brigand.
Swamy, who is now a sub-inspector at KR Nagar station in Mysuru district, said: “Simon also got injured in the serial blasts. Splinters of rock had severely hurt him at the waist, and he was found unconscious in a pit near the blast site the following day, when Tamil Nadu police visited the spot for inspection. It was only after a year that we (Karnataka police) brought him to the state against a warrant and tried him for the crime.”Swamy recalled how Veerappan had categorically told Simon to trigger the blast only after the vehicle carrying police personnel crossed 10 pits to have “more impact”. However, Simon pulled off the dynamo-like device as soon as one vehicle crossed the first pit.