Koose Muniswamy Veerappan was a notorious sandalwood smuggler, poacher and a dacoit from India who literally ruled 6000 sq. kilometres of forest land spread across Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. He was born on 18th January 1952 and died on 18th October 2004. He was wanted for killing more than 120 people and killing more than 2000 elephants for their ivory tusks. He actively smuggled sandalwood and ivory that was worth millions of dollars for over 20 years.
His growing years
He was born in Gopinathan, Mysore in a family of cattle grazers. Notorious poacher Sevi Gounder was a relative and Veerappan began his crime career with him in 1970. Veerappan was only 14 years old when he is said to have poached his first elephant and committed a murder at the age of 17. By the age of 18, he was a part of a poaching gang and took the lead in kidnappings, murder, ivory poaching and sandalwood smuggling.
His crime graph
Veerappan was notorious for killing forest officers, the police and locals whom he suspected to being informers to the police. An opportunity to curb this menace called Veerappan come along when he was caught by the police in 1986 but he managed to escape while under custody. He kidnapped and killed a forest official in 1987 and came into the spotlight as Govt. recognised the threat Veerappan posed. He later was responsible for killing a Senior IFS officer in 1991 and a senior IPS officer in 1992 in the course of an ambush.
His most infamous kidnappings
Veerappan came into focus once again in 2000 when he kidnapped famous Kannada Actor Rajkumar and kept him captive for 109 days. He was released after prolonged negotiations with Nakkeeran editor, N.Gopal. He also kidnapped and killed former Karnataka Minister, H.Nagappa in August 2002.
The end of terror
Veerappan, along with his three associates was finally killed on 18th October 2004, by a Tamil Nadu Special Task Force headed by K Vijay Kumar in an operation nicknamed Operation Cocoon. It was a fierce gun battle between the task force and the dacoits that ended this reign of terror which Veerappan unleashed for 20 long years.
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