‘Bheemana Amaavaasya’ is an important day for women as they pray for their husbands’ health and wellbeing. Fourteen years ago, Bheemana Amaavaasya turned out to be a ‘dark day’ for Parvathamma Rajkumar, wife of veteran actor Rajkumar.
On this day in 2000, forest brigand Veerappan abducted Rajkumar, and three others, from his home in Gajanur, a sleepy village bordering Tamil Nadu. The brigand was determined to kidnap the Kannada icon to demand amnesty for his heinous crimes.
The abduction sent shockwaves across Karnataka. Film production came to a grinding halt and cinema halls stopped screening films for some time.
Finally, Rajkumar was released on November 15, 2000, and everyone heaved a sigh of relief.
“Rajkumar’s health was severely affected after the 108-day-long abduction. The day he died, I felt he would have lived for another decade, but for his abduction,” said C. Dinakar, who headed the Karnataka State police then.
Mr. Dinakar told The Hindu how former Chief Minister S.M. Krishna took him and the then Home Minister Mallikarjun Kharge aside and broke the news.
“There was no time for emotions. My mind buzzed with the possible outcome of the crisis at hand. Mob started reacting violently by early morning. It was a long ordeal,” he recalled.