M A I N   N E W S

Forest brigand Veerappan shot dead
Tribune News Service and Agencies

Chennai, October 18
Notorious forest brigand Veerappan was shot dead by Tamil Nadu Special Task Force late tonight in the Hogenekal forest area in Dharmapuri district.

Veerappan and his three accomplices were shot dead after an hour-long encounter, STF sources said. His gang members killed in the encounter have been identified as Sethukuzhi Govindan, Chandra Gowda and Govindan.

The bodies have been brought to Dharmapur Government Hospital.

The two governments of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka had spent more than Rs 14 crore in trying to nab him for over more than three decades.

The sandalwood smuggler and poacher had been eluding justice, despite a concerted effort by the police forces of three southern states.

STF chief K. Vijayakumar tonight announced that the details of the operation leading to the encounter would be told at a press conference tomorrow.

Veerappan had abducted Kannadda film actor Rajkumar in July 2000 and kept him in captivity for 100 days. He also kidnapped former Karnataka Minister H. Nagappa whose body was later found near in the Chengadi forest near his ancestral house in Karnataka.

The forest brigand was accused of poaching several hundreds of elephants and killing several persons.

He was born on January 18, 1952, in Gopinatham village of Karnataka. He committed the first murder in 1969 at the age of 17 and was arrested for the first time in 1972.

He married Muthulakshmi who fell for his “moustache and notoriety” in 1991. The same year he beheaded a forest officer after offering to surrender.

In 1992 he killed five personnel of the Karnataka police. Two months later eight of his men were killed in a gunbattle, but he managed to escape.

A Special Task Force was instituted by the Karnataka government to nab him in 1993.

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