Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Koose Muniswamy Veerappan (c. January 18, 1952–October 18, 2004) was a notorious bandit of India. He resided and carried out his activities in the Biligirirangana Betta and Male Mahadeshwara Betta (Hills) and Sathyamangalam and Gundiyal forests, covering 6,000 km² in the states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. He challenged three state governments and the paramilitary force of Indian Border security. He once had a mini army with hundreds of armed members in his gang. He was wanted for killing about 184 people[1], including senior police and forest officials, poaching about 200 elephants, and smuggling ivory worth US$2,600,000 and sandalwood of about 10,000 tonnes worth US$22,000,000. He had a price of Rs. 50 million (Rs. 5 crore or US$1.1 million) on his head, but evaded arrest for 20 years until he was killed by police in 2004[2].

Special task force

In 1990, the Karnataka government formed a [[Special Task Force]] to capture him and put an end to the menace. Soon after, the task force captured several of Veerappan's men. In February 1992, the special task force killed his lieutenant [[Gurunathan]]. SI Shakeel Ahmed, a dynamic police officer, was single-handedly responsible for Gurunathan's capture. Three months later, Veerappan attacked the Ramapura police station of Kollegal taluk in the Chamarajanagar district, killing several policemen and capturing arms and ammunition. In August 1992, Veerappan laid a trap for SP Harikrishna and SI Shakeel Ahmed and killed them along with four others.
In 1993, the task force arrested his wife Muthulakshmi. In July 1993, he reportedly strangled his infant daughter, fearing the child's cry would give him away to the Indian police.

On Feb 17th 1996, he ambushed a team of Tamil Nadu STF personnel from a high ground while they were on their patrol vehicle. The police were able to counter attack and called for backup. The ambush which took place in the evening claimed the life of a Police Constable named Selvaraj from Madurai and seriously injured other police officers including Police officer Tamilselvan. By the time the Karnataka police arrived the bandit and his crew fled.

On [[July 12]], [[1997]], he kidnapped nine forest officials at a place called Marapala in Burude forests of Kollegala taluk of Chamarajanagara district. He made demands for releasing them, including amnesty, but none were met. The hostages were released without being harmed in the last week of August the same year.

On July 30th 2000Veerappan kidnapped popular Kannada film actor Dr.Rajkumar from his ancestral home. This event put the Karnataka government in a political dilemma of whether or not to call in the army. The decision was reached that to do so would set a poor precedent. Rajkumar was released without harm on November 15th 2000, after 109 days in captivity. There are allegations by several people including [Jayalalithaa] that about 500,000,000 rupees were paid to Veerappan for releasing Rajkumarhttp://newsarchives.indiainfo.com/spotlight/rajkumar News archives of Dr. Rajkumar kidnap incident.

On August 25th 2002 Veerappan abducted H. Nagappa, a former state minister. Nagappa was found dead in the forest three months later. The reward offered by the Karnataka state government was increased to 50,000,000 rupees (US $1.25 million).


Veerappan attended the [Bannari Amman Kovil] temple regularly and was known to be a strong devotee to Kali a Goddess in Hinduism. It is also said that he built a [Kali] temple. Veerappan belonged to the Vanniarcaste. Some people of Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), or Working People's Party, which is based on that Vanniar caste, hoisted half-mast flag of their party on the death of Veerappan.


Inappropriate tone|date=December 2007
On [[October 18]], [[2004]], following a tip-off, Veerappan and two associates were allegedly killed after being arrested by [[Tamil Nadu State Special Task Force]] headed by the Additional Director-General of Police, K. Vijay Kumar,Suprintendent of Police Sentamarai Kannan and Additional Suprintendent of Police F.M.Hussain, near the village of [Papparapatti, Dharmapuri,Papparapatti in Dharmapuri district, Tamil Nadu[http://www.indiatoday.com/itoday/20041101/index.shtml India Today - On The Net]. His third associate managed to escape. However, the next day his widow claimed that he had been arrested a few days earlier, interrogated and killed by the police (Veerappan had repeatedly threatened, if ever brought to trial, to point a finger at every policemen and politician he had bribed to ensure his three-decade long run from justice).

According to media reports, post-mortem photos of Veerappan with a bullet hole above his left eye seemed to contradict with the official story that the STF, lying in ambush, stopped the ambulance Veerappan and his gang was traveling in, offered them to surrender and gunned them down when someone from inside the van opened fire. Another possibility, voiced by psychologist, Dr. P. Kodandaram, is that Veerappan and his associates may have committed collective suicide inside the van when faced with capture.

Veerappan was buried in the village of Moolakadu, Tamil Nadu. The police said they did not let the burial take place in his home village in Karnataka, fearing the large crowds that had gathered there. Although the police had planned for a cremation, this was objected to by the relatives of Veerappan suggesting that exhumation would be required if there was investigation into his death. Thousands of people turned out for the funeral while others were kept away from the burial ground by heavy securityhttp://news.independent.co.uk/world/asia/story.jsp?story=573885 Independent: Koose Muniswamy Veerappan: The Bandit King.