21 October, 2020

Into The Devil's Lair

The hunt is on, but the states are harping on same old strategies. More Coverage

Into The Devil's Lair
In November 1986, when the second saarc summit was under way in Bangalore, the Karnataka police ran into a man sipping beer in a restaurant. Koose Munisamy Veerappan, then just an elephant poacher and sandalwood smuggler, had come to Bangalore shopping for arms and ammunition. Ramakrishna Hegde was then the chief minister. Veerappan was "captured" but in no time escaped, paying a small bribe to the cops. Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, indeed, the nation, are now paying a rather heavy price for this casual lapse. Veerappan has killed 138 people till date, slaughtered some 2,000 elephants and looted sandalwood worth Rs 200 crore.

Each major episode of kidnapping or murder now throws up the same old questions: will the Veerappan menace end at last? Will he be caught at all? With sloppiness nurtured as a virtue by the Special Task Force (STF) of both states, an answer in the affirmative is justifiable only if Karnataka and Tamil Nadu change tack. And after former minister H. Nagappa's death in the brigand's custody, the pressure is particularly on Karnataka to catch Veerappan. So...


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