14 June, 2021

Light On His Dark Side

Veerappan as he is, stripped of the wronged-man image

Light On His Dark Side

The history of Koose Muniswamy Veerappan is stark and grisly. In a criminal career spanning 35 years, he has accumulated a list of 119 murders and several kidnappings. He is accused of killing more than 100 elephants for ivory and of smuggling enormous quantities of sandalwood. He operates in the jungles on the borders of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Both states have deployed considerable police forces and have spent vast amounts of public money in trying to catch the bandit. Their efforts have been in vain and Veerappan remains at large to this day. Sunaad Raghuram has been vastly more successful than the police. Pen in hand, he has been chasing Veerappan for the past 12 years. In this immensely readable book, he has been able to capture him, alive and kicking.

Books which carry the sub-title 'The Untold Story' often whet the appetite without satisfying it. Raghuram's book is an exception. There are scores of first-person accounts, which throw authentic light on the dark central figure of Veerappan. We have, for instance, the anecdote of Veerappan listening to a radio news...

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