Prominent Indian film stars - including Tamil superstar Rajnikanth - have offered to walk into the jungle to plead with bandit Veerappan for the release of Kannada matinee idol Rajkumar.

Veerappan kidnapped Rajkumar and three of his relatives near the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border on July 30. Only one group of hostages has spent longer in captivity with Veerappan. The bandit kidnapped eight Karnataka forest department employees in August 1997 and released them after 44 days.

Indian actress-turned-politician Jayaprada, who starred with Rajakumar in his latest blockbuster Shabdavedi, said she was also willing to join the team to plead for his release. Jayaprada also asked the Tamil Nadu and Karnataka governments to ensure police protection for those actors and actresses who face similar threats.