BANGALORE, India — Indian film star Rajkumar was released by a jungle bandit Wednesday after 108 days in captivity, a senior government official in the southern state of Karnataka said.
The 72-year-old idol's release brings to an end a saga that had sparked rioting in the city of Bangalore and plunged the authorities into a legal tangle over the demands of his captor, infamous bandit Koose Muniswamy Veerappan.
"We have heard that he has been set free, and he has been taken to a guest house near Erode town," the official in the state chief minister's office told Reuters.
Erode is in the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu, at the edge of the dense jungle in which India's most wanted outlaw was holding the veteran of 210 films.
Jubilant fans of the actor burst firecrackers and handed out sweets to passers-by in Bangalore, capital of Karnataka, while police stepped up a vigil to prevent any disturbances.
"We don't expect any problems since they (fans) are rejoicing . . . but we are making all arrangements to ensure that there are no problems," a police official said.
However, in a stray incident, the actor's fans stoned a vehicle belonging to a local television network covering the celebrations and shattered its windshield glass, a Reuters photographer who witnessed the incident said.
Officials said they had no information on what led Veerappan to release Rajkumar despite his key demands not being met.