Veerappan: India's Most Wanted Man

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9780066210636: Veerappan: India's Most Wanted Man

Veerappan: poacher, smuggler, killer; a fugitive who has held the Indian state to ransom for more than a decade, a man whose name strikes terror in the hearts of the villagers who have been mute witnesses to his crimes; an outlaw whose freedom makes a mockery of the state and police force that has been trying unsuccessfully to bring him to justice; and a semi-literate who, despite attempts to portray himself as a leader of the masses, has only placed himself further on the fringes by his absurd demands and recent involvement with extremist organizations. This text provides a biographical account of this infamous bandit. Born in a small village in Karnataka, Veerappan started his life of crime under the tutelage of Sevi Gounder, a local don with interests in sandalwood smuggling and ivory poaching. After Sevi Gounder "retired" from his lucrative profession, Veerappen became the unquestioned leader of his gang. In April 1990, the Karnataka government finally woke up to the danger posed by his activities and a special task force was constituted to stop him.

Finding the net tightening around him, Veerappan turned to an easier way of making money: kidnapping wealthy, influential men for ransom. Thus began the phase that culminated in the kidnapping of the Kannada film superstar Rajkumar on July 30, 2000. With each offence, the police were caught by surprise and Veerappan eluded capture. Some of his accomplices and family members, including his wife, have been arrested; some have even been tortured and killed. Despite all offers of reward and means of persuasion, Veerappan remains beyond the reach of the law. Investigative journalist Sunaad Raghuram's account of Veerappan follows his career from small-time poacher to the most wanted man in India. He examines his relationship with his wife, his brothers and members of his gang and describes in detail the method and madness of the murders and kidnappings Veerappan has been accused of over the years. Based on police records, media reports and interviews with a group of his associates, this is a portrait of the man who is alternately hailed as a messiah and condemned as a murderer.

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Raghuram, Sunaad
Published by New York, NY, U.S.A.: HarperCollins Publishers, 2002, New York, NY, U.S.A. (2002)
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