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No other bandit in recent times has captured the public’s imagination as much as Koose Muniswamy Veerappan. Be it his trademark moustache, stories of his daring escapades or his ruthless massacre of officers, Veerappan continues to fascinate, even thirteen years after his death. Veerappan: Chasing the Brigand is a lucid and incisive account of the rise and fall of India’s No other bandit in recent times has captured the public’s imagination as much as Koose Muniswamy Veerappan. Be it his trademark moustache, stories of his daring escapades or his ruthless massacre of officers, Veerappan continues to fascinate, even thirteen years after his death. Veerappan: Chasing the Brigand is a lucid and incisive account of the rise and fall of India’s most dreaded forest brigand. Chronicled by K. Vijay Kumar, IPS, the man who spearheaded the Tamil Nadu Special Task Force (STF) that planned and executed the dreaded bandit’s encounter, the book relives the various incidents that shaped Veerappan’s life – from his birth in Gopinatham in 1952 to his death in 2004 in a shootout in Padi. It traces his dramatic rise from a small-time poacher and sandalwood smuggler to a brutal fugitive who held three states to ransom for two decades. The ruthless killings and high-profile kidnappings masterminded by Veerappan, including the 108-day ordeal involving Kannada cinema superstar, Dr Rajkumar, are described in fascinating detail. Veerappan: Chasing the Brigand is the most authentic account of the life and times of the dreaded outlaw.


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No other bandit in recent times has captured the public’s imagination as much as Koose Muniswamy Veerappan. Be it his trademark moustache, stories of his daring escapades or his ruthless massacre of officers, Veerappan continues to fascinate, even thirteen years after his death. Veerappan: Chasing the Brigand is a lucid and incisive account of the rise and fall of India’s No other bandit in recent times has captured the public’s imagination as much as Koose Muniswamy Veerappan. Be it his trademark moustache, stories of his daring escapades or his ruthless massacre of officers, Veerappan continues to fascinate, even thirteen years after his death. Veerappan: Chasing the Brigand is a lucid and incisive account of the rise and fall of India’s most dreaded forest brigand. Chronicled by K. Vijay Kumar, IPS, the man who spearheaded the Tamil Nadu Special Task Force (STF) that planned and executed the dreaded bandit’s encounter, the book relives the various incidents that shaped Veerappan’s life – from his birth in Gopinatham in 1952 to his death in 2004 in a shootout in Padi. It traces his dramatic rise from a small-time poacher and sandalwood smuggler to a brutal fugitive who held three states to ransom for two decades. The ruthless killings and high-profile kidnappings masterminded by Veerappan, including the 108-day ordeal involving Kannada cinema superstar, Dr Rajkumar, are described in fascinating detail. Veerappan: Chasing the Brigand is the most authentic account of the life and times of the dreaded outlaw.

30 review for Veerappan: Chasing the Brigand

  1. 4 out of 5

    Surabhi Sharma

    It is neither a biography nor a diary; it is a mix of both. He (K. Vijay Kumar, author) is the man who brings an end to an era of an infamous bandit of modern India Veerappan. It is more a team effort than a one-man show, but he is the one who contrived the plan. This was yet another plan to bring him down like other plans made earlier and failed miserably but on this day the STF was lucky or the bandit's luck failed him. The book is an account of the life of bandit born on 18th January 1952. He It is neither a biography nor a diary; it is a mix of both. He (K. Vijay Kumar, author) is the man who brings an end to an era of an infamous bandit of modern India Veerappan. It is more a team effort than a one-man show, but he is the one who contrived the plan. This was yet another plan to bring him down like other plans made earlier and failed miserably but on this day the STF was lucky or the bandit's luck failed him. The book is an account of the life of bandit born on 18th January 1952. He (Koose Muniswamy Veerappan) is a legend on his own terms, the man who get himself chased for more than two decades by forces of two states (Tamil Nadu and Karnataka), prominently featured and written in newspapers for nothing good and eventually a book has written on him. In these two decades, more than forty officers lost their life and more than hundred people died in his hands. The book is written from the facts gathered from the official books and the officers of STF and police of two states working from long to apprehend him. Veerappan’s life is nothing less eventful than a film script. The book reads like a fast passed action thriller movie. The author maintained the secrecy of the functioning but that didn’t affect the pace. Veerappan; the name was enough to make you piss in your pants and get you goosebumps. The miscreant bandit Koose Muniswamy Veerappan file closed on 18th October 2004. https://thereviewauthor.wordpress.com/

  2. 5 out of 5

    Arjun Gopal

    Unputdownable! Finished this book in one night. The author has an excellent eye for detail. The author should definitely write about his BSF cases as well. The book was written in an absolute thriller kind of fashion! Would definitely recommend to my peers.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Arun Divakar

    The celebrity status that attaches itself to high profile criminals was amply present around Veerappan who at one point in time was India’s most wanted. The media was rife with comments about how every single effort that the police and security forces were making against this one man and his gang of brigands was failing. For the uninformed, Veerappan was a man who began his life as an ivory poacher and later moved on to sandalwood smuggling in the forests of South India. Being a fiery character The celebrity status that attaches itself to high profile criminals was amply present around Veerappan who at one point in time was India’s most wanted. The media was rife with comments about how every single effort that the police and security forces were making against this one man and his gang of brigands was failing. For the uninformed, Veerappan was a man who began his life as an ivory poacher and later moved on to sandalwood smuggling in the forests of South India. Being a fiery character it was only a matter of time before he moved on to bigger and nastier things and so it was that he became a murderer. By the time that the law enforcement agencies had brought an end to his infamous career, Veerappan was responsible for the deaths of over a 100 people. Even after attaining the status of a minor celebrity, it is interesting to note that it took two decades for the combined might of two states (Tamil Nadu and Karnataka) to bring him down. The book is an account of the manhunt for the brigand as seen from near and far by the police officer who finally shot the entire gang dead. K.Vijay Kumar in the book creates an insider account from the other side of the fence on the life of Veerappan. The author narrates the story of the brigand and his brushes with the law enforcement agencies as narrated by other cops, villagers and police informers. The picture that emerges is of a man who fancies himself as a Robin Hood figure and proclaims himself to be the saviour of villagers and tribal settlements. The aura of fear that he creates around him prevents the people who come in contact with him to divulge anything to the police who are hot on his trail. The fact that he chooses to live solely out of jungle terrain is also to his advantage as the team tasked with hunting him down is worn down by the thick vegetation and treacherous terrain. And so it happens that time and again, even after narrow brushes with death the gang remains elusive and at large. Vijay Kumar is either in the thick of things during the whole process as either a participant or a witness to it all. A lot many factors including Veerappan’s age, ill-health and the tightening grip of the police cordon all collude to finally bring him out into the open and straight to the bullets of the law. The whole affair of the manhunt and the inevitable kill towards the end is a good case study of how these factors along with occasional bureaucratic interference and political flavour managed to hinder bringing a dreaded criminal to justice. The first thing that needs to be told about the book is that the author is a cop and it shows. Veerappan was not caught alive and there have been no direct conversations between him and the cops. With this being the case, the times when the book states : “Veerappan said” or “Veerappan thought” would all be purely conjecture and there are quite a few of these in the book. The narrative proceeds at breakneck pace right from the word ‘go’ and keeping some of these logical writing flaws aside this is similar to watching a documentary on the whole experience. Vijay Kumar also doesn’t dwell upon much on the political side of things or the conspiracy theories that surrounded the whole manhunt. These are more touch and go within the book. Being the first of its kind and coming straight from the person who was in the thick of action, this was a good read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ganesh Muthupalani

    I am really glad I picked up this book. Curiosity has led me on to a gem. Koose Munisamy Veerappan was an Indian bandit who killed over 2000 elephants for their ivories and smuggled over 10,000 tonnes of sandalwood. He later killed people who opposed his activities and kidnapped several high profile personnel to fulfill his demands. Veerappan was the notorious king of the jungle, living a large portion of his 52-year life in the forests. The Special Task Force set up by the Governments of Karnata I am really glad I picked up this book. Curiosity has led me on to a gem. Koose Munisamy Veerappan was an Indian bandit who killed over 2000 elephants for their ivories and smuggled over 10,000 tonnes of sandalwood. He later killed people who opposed his activities and kidnapped several high profile personnel to fulfill his demands. Veerappan was the notorious king of the jungle, living a large portion of his 52-year life in the forests. The Special Task Force set up by the Governments of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu (neighbouring southern Indian states) started their hunt for the king in 1992. It took them 15 years and many many casualties before Veerappan was ambushed and shot down. Written from the perspective of the Special Task Force (STF), Vijay Kumar (STF's head when Veerappan was executed, and author) very beautifully documented the motivation, let-downs, little successes and set-backs the force experienced in that period. I knew the author succeeded when he made me ask myself "When is Veerappan's end ever going to come?" This question was a mere teaser of the anticipation and hopes that each of the STF officers had since the start of the hunt. Some even refused to get married till they saw the end of Veerappan. Having seen war movies and served in the army, the real life story of a manhunt was extremely refreshing. It was fascinating to read how the STF planted spies, planned operations and played mind games with their target. For anyone who knows Veerappan and his notoriety, this is a must read!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bala Sakthis

    This is not a book review, but my research and analysis. As the links and videos can't be embedded, please read my blog post, Veerappan: Chasing the Brigand - The Unauthorized Guide for full details. The quote in the Introduction was very much inspiring It's like a football team. All eleven play, but one scores the goal. After finishing the book, I had mixed feelings and made me to do further research. This analysis raised a lot of questions and I doubted whether the goal was scored by fair means This is not a book review, but my research and analysis. As the links and videos can't be embedded, please read my blog post, Veerappan: Chasing the Brigand - The Unauthorized Guide for full details. The quote in the Introduction was very much inspiring It's like a football team. All eleven play, but one scores the goal. After finishing the book, I had mixed feelings and made me to do further research. This analysis raised a lot of questions and I doubted whether the goal was scored by fair means or the STF had given Veerappan to taste his own medicine. If you re-read the book, you will feel Veerappan deserved it, but his partners in crime have escaped. In the Rise of a Brigand, it's mentioned that Veerappan had invited a rival gang for a meal. After the meal, his men opened fire immediately, thus wiping out the competition. But, Nakkheeran gives a different view in his Part 2 Interview. In A Blow to Veerappan, if you recall the August 1992 incident, Naika pulled Harikrishna and Shakeel and their white Ambassador had multiple holes. It looks very much similar to Veerappan's death in a white Tempo Traveller filled with bullet holes. 22 - charred bodies in the Good Friday Massacre will assure us that Veerappan got what he deserved. Gopal Hosur, the STF SP (May 1993), who had 55 sutures in his neck after the ambush in MM Hills, shares his experience in the TEDx event. The article Veerappan’s ghost comes back to haunt the police, says the claims by Gopal Hosur for the President’s Police Medal for Gallantry were fake. In The STF's First Casualty - Senthil, at the end of a day-long futile jungle search, Senthil would charge up a tall rock and scream at the top of his voice, "Veerappan! Where are you? I have come for you". During an operation at Sorgam Valley, a bullet tunnelled through his left eye and penetrated his brain. Veerappan too faced the same on his fateful day. No mission haunts you more than the one from which you return carrying the stiffening body of a buddy, even if you are a commando. Veerappan's death will be the only answer for all those sacrifices.. In the Unfriendly Fire, when you read the line Dei suttuteiyada (You've shot me) will send shock waves. Veerappan's 10 Commandments for releasing Rajkumar. Veerappan having a discussion with Nakkheeran for releasing actor Rajkumar. Nakkheeran had a 16-hour conversation (in video). Only this much is available. Earlier, I heard about Vachathi incident but didn't knew much about it. After reading the சோளகர் தொட்டி book review, I felt this was one of the major incidents but was not mentioned much in the book. I searched through the book for the word Vachathi and didn't find it. Then, I searched for STF and found Vaachatti mentioned on Page 130. The Justice for Vachathi article from FrontLine gives a detailed view of the Vachathi incident. In The Last Victim, we don't have a confirmed answer for the former Karnataka minister H. Nagappa's death. In Nakkheeran's Part - 1 Interview (at 17:13), he explains that Nagappa's wife had come to meet Jayalalitha. But, Jayalalitha insisted to discuss anything other than Nagappa's release. In the Contact, at Last, Red took out a lottery ticket and tore into half. He handed over one piece to Mr. X and had the other half. "This will serve as Anna's travel ticket. When your man meets ours, they should match the edges. Arrange for a vehicle to bring out four people". This reminds me of the movie Ayan where a similar strategy was used for smuggling. The revealations from Veerappan's Astro chart is very interesting. The map in the last cover doesn't make any sense in the beginning. After reading, it gives a clear picture and the author deserves special appreciation for bringing out this. Adding a Timeline of activities and events in the future editions will be easy for reference. Below this grave lies not only Veerappan, but millions of secrets and truth. Unanswered Questions 1. This book review motivated me to do more research on Veerappan and he too raised a lot of questions. 2. Page 89 - Veerappan's younger brother, Arjunan was arrested by the STF. The Karnataka Police demanded that he be handed over to them for interrogation. Arjunan and Veerappan's 2 aides were formally transferred into the custody of the Karnataka Police and were taken away in a police van. When the van moved about 40 Km, they heard strange sounds from the back. When the back of the van was opened, he found them to have taken Cyanide capsules and died instantaneously. 3. Veerappan's sister Mariammal had committed suicide. So, he brutally beheaded Srinivas, the Karnataka forest official, blaming him for the suicide of his sister. 4. The death of former Karnataka minister H. Nagappa is not yet known. 5. Page 130 - In 1992, it was alleged that STF personnel entered these two villages on the pretext of searching for smuggled sandalwood and Veerappan, and assaulted and raped some of the locals. The involvement of the STF in the Chinnampathi case was never proved. Ultimately, not a sinlge STF person was held guilty. The article from TamilWeek raises a lot of Troubling questions about the killing of Veerappan. It clearly says that The Commission recommended among other things the immediate compensation of Indian Rs. 10,000 each to 19 women raped by STF personnel. 6. Page 223 - In The Longest Day, it's mentioned that A stretcher was added and there were 3 portraits of deities. Lord Venkateswara in the middle had a camera fixed on his forehead, to pass on real-time information. Page 232 - In The Shootout at Padi, The Sweet Box was meant to block the path of the oncoming Cocoon. It also housed three tech experts, who would recieve signals from the surveillance camera concealed inside the ambulance. It was their job to confirm that the target was inside the vehicle before we intercepted it. Page 235 - In the T minus 120 seconds, The tech team has confirmed four people in the back of Cocoon. But the picture from the camera is blurred, can't make out their faces. If the footage from the Camera was released, then it would put an end to all the doubts and controversies. 7. Page 209 - In Planting a Mole, a new character Mr. X gets introduced. According to Veerappan, Mr. X had links with certain Sri Lanka based Tamil radicals, and could use them to procure guns. During the book launch (at 21:27), when the author was questioned about Mr. X, he gave a reply which can't be taken lightly. 8. In this very old interview, Walter Devaram has mentioned that it's impossible for Veerappan to have AK-47.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kailas Ramachandran

    Truth is faster than Fiction !!! Reads like a true-blooded thriller !!! Great Job by the SIT Chief !!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mansi

    The interest in reading this book piped after the news that the tough no-nonsense retired cop K.Vijay Kumar was going to be the next Lt. Gov of Kashmir. And the man is a genius. His writing style as well as his humbleness have made me a huge fan. The novel details the history of STF encounters with Veerapan and the various operations before the final success of the Operation Cocoon. Veerapan's larger than life picture and exploits are presented but so are the STF's crafty maneuvers. To beat the The interest in reading this book piped after the news that the tough no-nonsense retired cop K.Vijay Kumar was going to be the next Lt. Gov of Kashmir. And the man is a genius. His writing style as well as his humbleness have made me a huge fan. The novel details the history of STF encounters with Veerapan and the various operations before the final success of the Operation Cocoon. Veerapan's larger than life picture and exploits are presented but so are the STF's crafty maneuvers. To beat the foe you have to think like the foe and train like him were important lessons from this book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rubesh Gain

    When I was a kid I used to hear the story of Verrappan as an outlaw. Finally got a chance to know some glimpse of him through this book. It was as interesting as thrilling to read it. Thank you K. Vijay Kumar.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Apoorva Ranade

    A well-written account of the operations involved in the capture of the notorious brigand Veerappan. I like the style in which it is written: with parallel accounts of event in 1980s and 2000s. I like the personal anecdotes as well!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Logeshwaran M

    Having grown-up near Salem region, we grew up with legends of Veerapan. Although highly feared, he was revered to the likes of Robin Hood and TN police (maybe the same with Karnataka police) were usually the butt of Jokes in the media/films. It still hard to believe that such a man existed in our times who evaded capture for more than 2 decades, and even made the governments of both TN & Karnataka to act to his every whims & wishes after kidnapping High-profile personalities. This book, although Having grown-up near Salem region, we grew up with legends of Veerapan. Although highly feared, he was revered to the likes of Robin Hood and TN police (maybe the same with Karnataka police) were usually the butt of Jokes in the media/films. It still hard to believe that such a man existed in our times who evaded capture for more than 2 decades, and even made the governments of both TN & Karnataka to act to his every whims & wishes after kidnapping High-profile personalities. This book, although a Non-fiction account of events from the Hunter himself, reads more like a thriller highlighting the heroics of Police/STF. It's little disappointing that Vijay Kumar had decided to stay politically correct even after these many years.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Srinidhi Devanathan

    There isn't much literature on the lives of IPS officers despite the stories they offer - of strategies, of battles won and lost. So, when in early February, I read that Mr Vijay Kumar's book was finally out, I literally wanted to drop what I was reading. The book is part biography, part autobiography, with both converging at Operation Cocoon, the mission that took down the notorious brigand. I don't want to write anything more and spoil it for the readers but it should suffice to say that I reco There isn't much literature on the lives of IPS officers despite the stories they offer - of strategies, of battles won and lost. So, when in early February, I read that Mr Vijay Kumar's book was finally out, I literally wanted to drop what I was reading. The book is part biography, part autobiography, with both converging at Operation Cocoon, the mission that took down the notorious brigand. I don't want to write anything more and spoil it for the readers but it should suffice to say that I recommend it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Raja Gopal

    The author, Vijay Kumar Sir is as adept with the pen as he is with the gun. Extremely well narrated so much so that my heart was beating fast in the last chapter. Undoubtedly, one of the best books in a long time.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Parth Sarthi

    Throughly engaging , written as a thriller.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Roma

    Title: Veerappan - Chasing the Brigand Author: K. Vijay Kumar Publisher: Rupa Publications Length: 248 pages Genre: Non-Fiction, Biographical, Thriller, Horror My rating: 4/5 Summary: This book is about the infamous Bandit of India in the Southern states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and he managed to get away every time from getting caught prior to 2004 when the force finally managed to kill him. My Take: The book starts with training regime of author in the IPS which was rigorous and tough. The narration Title: Veerappan - Chasing the Brigand Author: K. Vijay Kumar Publisher: Rupa Publications Length: 248 pages Genre: Non-Fiction, Biographical, Thriller, Horror My rating: 4/5 Summary: This book is about the infamous Bandit of India in the Southern states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and he managed to get away every time from getting caught prior to 2004 when the force finally managed to kill him. My Take: The book starts with training regime of author in the IPS which was rigorous and tough. The narration of the events is wonderful. Veerappan is always in the backdrop wherein the accounts of the events as mentioned in official files or detailed by various eye witnesses are accounted in the book. The gruesome acts of killing and the henious crimes of Veerappan leave you feeling disgusted. The intensity of crimes is not easily digestable. Murder of Srinivas and playing football with his head leaves you feeling like you may not be able to complete this book and it's not for faint hearted people. The intensity of crimes does gradually decrease but crimes don't stop. I do remember the abduction of Dr. Rajkumar since it was all in news and made Veerappan a household name for all the wrong reasons. The proceedings of decision on whether to fulfill his demands is detailed but not of how Mr. Rajkumar was treated during the 108 days while he was held captive. Veerappan, though a bandit, had such a strong network and information sources along with the knowledge of Jungle where he resided that he managed to flee everytime leaving the forces disappointed. Veerappan was responsible for around 124 deaths. The narration of his final encounter when he was the most vulnerable, is definitely worth a read. The book is a fast paced narrative always keeping you at the edge and glued to know about the happenings. At times the pace did slow down but it can be ignored for this brilliant account bought to the readers by the person who managed to hatch a foolproof plan to eliminate the negative person. A great read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Karthik Parthasarathy

    This is the story of the hunt of one of India's most popular / notorious (depending on which side one looks from) narrated by the man who was involved in the hunt directly. Sandhana Kadathal (Sandalwood smuggler) Veerappan was one of the most talked about personality during the 90s and anyone who had lived in TN or Karnataka during that time would have heard about him atleast once. His run ins with the cops were legendary and the mere fact that he kept them in bay for a long period was intriguin This is the story of the hunt of one of India's most popular / notorious (depending on which side one looks from) narrated by the man who was involved in the hunt directly. Sandhana Kadathal (Sandalwood smuggler) Veerappan was one of the most talked about personality during the 90s and anyone who had lived in TN or Karnataka during that time would have heard about him atleast once. His run ins with the cops were legendary and the mere fact that he kept them in bay for a long period was intriguing. This book is an account of those run ins and the close shaves from Mr K Vijay Kumar, IPS, who was running the Special Task Force at the time of his capture and was one of the key figures who was actively involved in the planning of that operation. The narration has followed a slight non Linear style with him going back and forth with the present being interspersed with the past operations. The narration starts at a time when he is offered to take up the STF chief position and while he plans for the current operation, the previous operations are narrated as memories. The book is an intriguing one and some of the operations and the details around it gave me goosebumps. It is tried out similar to a thriller story and the narration manages to keep one engaged till the end. The ruthlessness of the bandit has been brought to the fore and the bravery of the STF officers and the informers have been highlighted as well.. It is obvious that the book is going to give just the perspective of the cops and that is how it is written as well. All in all, an engaging read and would be an interesting read in particular to those who had lived during that time period.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Himanshu Subodh

    I picked this meticulous work after my research stint with Tamilnadu STF and their bravado during the early to late 2000s. The author has himself headed the TNSTF so it was the icing on the cake to hear the first account of the story conspired around MM Hills, Sathyamanagalam forest etc. The book in hindsight buttresses upon the sacrifices and indomitable attitude of brave Indian Police forces which has been less-discussed. If the glorious Indian Armed Forces are protecting our borders then India I picked this meticulous work after my research stint with Tamilnadu STF and their bravado during the early to late 2000s. The author has himself headed the TNSTF so it was the icing on the cake to hear the first account of the story conspired around MM Hills, Sathyamanagalam forest etc. The book in hindsight buttresses upon the sacrifices and indomitable attitude of brave Indian Police forces which has been less-discussed. If the glorious Indian Armed Forces are protecting our borders then Indian Police Forces are protecting us from internal termites. Hence, the book made me realise that their efforts should be equally lauded. It further made me explore the mindset of a dreaded-criminal. I remember watching a clip of Veerappan's interview on youtube where he was asked that you chose this path to help the suppressed tribes. Why did you indulge in criminal activities? Why don't you let people see the good side of you? To which he responded: 'When people see good, they expect good. And I don't want to live up to any expectations'. Rest, no spoilers. It's an understatement to call it a thriller at the least. It's more than that. Grippy to the core. Unputdownable.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Geeta Ramani

    K. Vijay Kumar's book, Veerappan: Chasing the Brigand, is a thrilling read. I read it at one go, it is really unputdownable. Vijay Kumar writes with an effervescent enthusiasm, and brings to the fore his extensive experience and policing principles. To use his own words, he has succeeded in making his book, a "tight, gripping, and reader-friendly narrative”. One wonders why it took more than twenty years to bring down this law breaker. It is true that the brigand had the advantage of home ground K. Vijay Kumar's book, Veerappan: Chasing the Brigand, is a thrilling read. I read it at one go, it is really unputdownable. Vijay Kumar writes with an effervescent enthusiasm, and brings to the fore his extensive experience and policing principles. To use his own words, he has succeeded in making his book, a "tight, gripping, and reader-friendly narrative”. One wonders why it took more than twenty years to bring down this law breaker. It is true that the brigand had the advantage of home ground, the jungle. For the policemen assigned to nab him, it was treacherous ground, "since the jungle’s undergrowth, poor visibility and general disorientation made night and day virtually the same". A series of botched-up encounters and failed operation gave a free run to the brigand responsible for the deaths of more than a hundred persons. The years of fruitless searches could have affected the morale of the Special Task Forces created by both the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Vijay Kumar, the quintessential policeman understood this. Finally, two years after taking over as the STF Tamil Nadu chief, he managed to bring his era of terror to an end. This book narrates his remarkable feat.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ram Krishnan

    If there are more than 5 stars I can give for a book i'll give to this one. The book is a page turner which details the hard work , dedication and thinking of the policemen in fighting the dreaded Bandit Veerapan in a dreaded forest spread over 1000 sq. km . This book can easily surpass any thriller novel with its own dose of intrigues, plots and heroic maneuvers. Would highly recommend all Indians to read this book to know about the trouble Police faced in nabbing the brigand. Every corrupt pol If there are more than 5 stars I can give for a book i'll give to this one. The book is a page turner which details the hard work , dedication and thinking of the policemen in fighting the dreaded Bandit Veerapan in a dreaded forest spread over 1000 sq. km . This book can easily surpass any thriller novel with its own dose of intrigues, plots and heroic maneuvers. Would highly recommend all Indians to read this book to know about the trouble Police faced in nabbing the brigand. Every corrupt police man should read this and change themselves to understand how much pain their counterparts in STF had taken into this effort.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Manikandan Jayakumar

    From a Cops perspective its a completely awesome narrative. I felt each episode is handpicked to demonstrate a particular aspect of the mission, like a episode to convey how friendly fire could cease a life or how naive Veerappan is, towards spies etc. Its a complete story from a cop's perspective. Vijay consciously skipped Vaachathi incident or other atrocities of police or STA just to gain the sympathy of public. History is based on who tells it! From a Cops perspective its a completely awesome narrative. I felt each episode is handpicked to demonstrate a particular aspect of the mission, like a episode to convey how friendly fire could cease a life or how naive Veerappan is, towards spies etc. Its a complete story from a cop's perspective. Vijay consciously skipped Vaachathi incident or other atrocities of police or STA just to gain the sympathy of public. History is based on who tells it!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kinshuk Awasthi

    Boy o boy, what a gripper! Pulsating from the start till end. Gem of a thriller. Beautifully narrated and literally takes you in those jungles where Veerappan ruled and caused havoc. A perfect storyline for a bollywood blockbuster.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Saranga

    Glad I picked this thriller of a book! My heart went out for all those brave policemen who gave their lives to capture this ruthless brigand - Veerappan. And what a well deserved fall he received.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Subhashree Hari

    I have always been intrigued about Veerappan since childhood but not a lot about him was ever discussed either at home or in school. So this book was absolutely perfect for me. For those of you who are unaware of who he is, Koose Muniswamy Veerappan known for his trademark moustache was India’s most dreaded forest brigand and dacoit. He was active for nearly 30 yrs in scrub lands and forests of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. (And also a small part of Kerala) . The book is actually a memoir of K Vijay I have always been intrigued about Veerappan since childhood but not a lot about him was ever discussed either at home or in school. So this book was absolutely perfect for me. For those of you who are unaware of who he is, Koose Muniswamy Veerappan known for his trademark moustache was India’s most dreaded forest brigand and dacoit. He was active for nearly 30 yrs in scrub lands and forests of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. (And also a small part of Kerala) . The book is actually a memoir of K Vijay Kumar and a biography of Veerappan . We get a glimpse of all of Veerappan’s daring escapades and his ruthless massacre of officers, and also an insight of how Vijay Kumar became the chief of STF (Special Task Force) and how he and his team with meticulous planning, carried out the final encounter of the brigand. The last 30-40 pages read like a fast paced thriller and I literally felt like a part of the team. It was an amazing finish to the book and I’m so glad I read it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sivasankar S

    A nerve biting read. Unable to put down.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Chandan Kumar

    There are only two worthy goals in life: 1. Write something worth reading, 2. Do something worth writing about. K.Vijay Kumar (IPS, 1975 batch) has done both. I still remember the silly joke of "चन्दन तस्कर वीरप्पन मारा गया, अब क्या करोगे" in school days, alluding my name to him, when Vijay Kumar and his STF team had finally captured and killed notorious Veerappan in 2004. Still, despite all this (unfortunate) name-tagging, my knowledge of these STF operations were meager. And now that I have alr There are only two worthy goals in life: 1. Write something worth reading, 2. Do something worth writing about. K.Vijay Kumar (IPS, 1975 batch) has done both. I still remember the silly joke of "चन्दन तस्कर वीरप्पन मारा गया, अब क्या करोगे" in school days, alluding my name to him, when Vijay Kumar and his STF team had finally captured and killed notorious Veerappan in 2004. Still, despite all this (unfortunate) name-tagging, my knowledge of these STF operations were meager. And now that I have already met Vijay sir, and that he is also Jharkhand government's adviser in anti-naxal operations, I simply had to pick his book as soon as it got released. (Yes, it's 4 months already and I am posting this review quite late.) Well, everyone knows about Veerappan and his famous moustaches. What one does not know is how cruel he could get in killing his own daughter so that her weeping does not give away his secret location. Or that how crafty and poilitically manipulatively he could be. As a kidnapping ransom of Rajkumar, he demanded that water of Cauvery be released by Karnataka, a wily technique to whip sentiments in his favour in Tamilnadu! This fantastically written book has a unique style. It mixes autobiography and diary with a queer fiction format and lets us have a peek into what might have been going into Veerappan's or for that matter the STF personnel's minds at every stage. It is fascinating to read how so many traps were set up for Veerappan, and how most of these traps got awry; sometimes Veerappan beat them all by maverick cleverness, sometimes he simply got lucky. And this tamasha went on for three decades! To a novice like me, this book teaches many fine insights into the strategy making by special task forces. For example, how difficult really it is to plant a spy or mole in the gangs, and the requirements of absolute secrecy in such operations. And sometimes this secrecy works against you, when someone at the lower of police force kills that spy simply because he didn't know that the spy was his comrade planted their by his superiors. This is humbling. This is thrilling. And this is very very scary. It is quite often a hard task to write such a book without revealing much guarded state secrets. Vijay sir has done a fine job by raising the right questions, hinting what might have been there, and then leaving it to our imaginations. For example, there are no official records at least in public knowledge of whether money were paid to secure the release of actor Rajkumar? Vijay sir does not answer this question directly. He just asks the question in clever manner: "Veerappan had fallen upon hard times, was even forced to mortgage his gold chain before Rajkumar's abduction. So, if his gang was spending Rs500 notes with wild abandon now, how had he become so flush with funds soon after the actor's release? But there are some loose ends as well in the book: For example, why Veerappan's brother Arjunan and his bodyguard killed themselves with cyanide capsule while being transferred from Tamilnadu prison to Karnataka prison is still unclear. In fact many suspect that they may not have committed suicide at all. I had hoped that Vijay sir would throw light on this in his books, but either he is reluctant (quite justifiably) to present the full picture..Or as he writes these questions "remain unanswered to him too." Overall, a book every Indian should read. Partly to understand how police special task forces work on the ground, and also because Truth is more thrilling than Fiction. 5/5

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sanjay

    This is perhaps the first book in English that describes the activities of the bandit in Tamil Nadu. It is also perhaps the first book that gives first hand account of Operation Cocoon. Well written. A bit of research would have helped overcome the mistakes of names of people, and description of places in Karnataka. As person who woks in the area where Veerappan operated, I found the book very readable and interesting.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sneha Divakaran

    An eventful chase and a brave team that took chase. The narrative style was typical for a thriller, with too many characters, such that it's hard to develop any of them (but for the narrator himself). The pace of the book is high, making it a page turner. But, unfortunately, it fails to provoke thoughts or debates for the reader, thus disqualifying it from my list of books-to-read-before-you-die. But, if you're a thriller junkie, or a sucker for good stories, or are in a service that requires you An eventful chase and a brave team that took chase. The narrative style was typical for a thriller, with too many characters, such that it's hard to develop any of them (but for the narrator himself). The pace of the book is high, making it a page turner. But, unfortunately, it fails to provoke thoughts or debates for the reader, thus disqualifying it from my list of books-to-read-before-you-die. But, if you're a thriller junkie, or a sucker for good stories, or are in a service that requires you to be proud of this operation that saw the end of Veerappan, then don't miss this book. In any case, it's a good weekend read for everyone that's been curious about the Veerappan saga!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Omkar Joshi

    Such books are direly needed in a country like India where the police-to-citizen ratio is one of the lowest in the world and where the police and the masses don't hold high opinions about each other. I have tried to highlight the points where the book scores: 1. A glimpse into the professionalism of the police and the Special Task Forces(STFs) created from time to time. The tactics used in the field, the dangers that lurk at every corner/step of a policeman chasing the most notorious brigand, the Such books are direly needed in a country like India where the police-to-citizen ratio is one of the lowest in the world and where the police and the masses don't hold high opinions about each other. I have tried to highlight the points where the book scores: 1. A glimpse into the professionalism of the police and the Special Task Forces(STFs) created from time to time. The tactics used in the field, the dangers that lurk at every corner/step of a policeman chasing the most notorious brigand, the trainings and the studies that the officers have to undergo and conduct etc. One gets the names of the policemen involved which otherwise are unknown to the masses. 2. The resort of the people involved in chasing Veerappan was stunning and respectful! Despite a series of losses, how the various officers laboured over years to nab the smuggler inspires an awe. 3. The geography of the region in which Veerappan operated, his skills and weaknesses, his triumphs and defeats are all well highlighted in a simple manner. 4. The book is no-nonsense in it's presentation - it doesn't have any tall claims of morality and conscientiousness but it merely highlights the state of the policemen and civilians who had suffered at the hands of the smuggler. 5. Though brief, it highlights the rot in the working ranks of the government, the society, the issues threatening India's internal and external security. 6. Even though the Intel agencies and to some extent the deserving politicians never get their due credit, the book highlights their efforts. 7. As a reader, one will be engrossed, intrigued and ever apprehensive while reading the proceedings and events - sort of a thriller movie! I can't imagine the stress and challenges that the security forces of India have to meet while dealing with such menaces. The book left me baffled at times: 1. The events/timeline shifts back and forth in the early 2000s and 90s which makes it confusing at times. I had to re-read several pages to establish the flow 2. There is no information of any financial/economic perspectives of the campaign - the costs incurred, the financial losses, how Veerappan operated his tradecraft, the modus operandi of the local and national/international contacts of the smuggling business. Highly recommended!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Prasad Rao

    A book about India's most famous outlaw, written by the man who lead the hunt and laid the trap that finally killed him, should have been more riveting and detailed than what it has ultimately turned out to be. While Mr. Vijay Kumar successfully paints a picture about the bandit's legendary ferociousness and ruthlessness, what is not clear is Veerappan's motivation and drive to create that legacy. Did the lucre of high profit motivate him to a life of crime? Was it survival? Or was it the system A book about India's most famous outlaw, written by the man who lead the hunt and laid the trap that finally killed him, should have been more riveting and detailed than what it has ultimately turned out to be. While Mr. Vijay Kumar successfully paints a picture about the bandit's legendary ferociousness and ruthlessness, what is not clear is Veerappan's motivation and drive to create that legacy. Did the lucre of high profit motivate him to a life of crime? Was it survival? Or was it the system that created the Veerappan legend and conveniently bumped him off when he outgrew his usefulness? There are instances of inter-service rivalry and politicking between the Karnataka & TN STF that Mr. Vijay Kumar alludes to, but overall, the reader comes away with the feeling that the author is toeing the official line to a large extent. There is a mere hint of someone in the system (read Government) who profited from Veerappan's excesses, but nothing more than a mere hint. One would assume that the author, in his position, would have more insider information that could be revealed with little or no consequences after more than a decade of the events described. Nevertheless, this book piques the reader's interest about the geography of the region, and the socio-economic-political conditions that create desperadoes like Veerappan. And the political chicanery that creates myths and legends and subsequently kills them off as soon as they outlive their raison d'être.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ankur Chaudhary

    Veerappan – Chasing the Brigand This book is written by K Vijay Kumar (IPS) who was part of STF which was formed to capture Veerappan and worked in STF in various roles. As this is based on real events, the book covers many aspects of Veerappan’s life. The main focus and storyline of the book revolves around the efforts of various authorities and STF to capture him and how every time he escaped. STF used various tricks to get to him, there were informers of STF across the villages, there were info Veerappan – Chasing the Brigand This book is written by K Vijay Kumar (IPS) who was part of STF which was formed to capture Veerappan and worked in STF in various roles. As this is based on real events, the book covers many aspects of Veerappan’s life. The main focus and storyline of the book revolves around the efforts of various authorities and STF to capture him and how every time he escaped. STF used various tricks to get to him, there were informers of STF across the villages, there were informers of Veerappan also and for decades this had been a game of cat and mouse. And most of the times, Veerappan came out victorious despite 2 state governments running behind him. There were many encounters, ambushes which were explained in the book along with details of the encounter in which Veerappan was finally killed. The incident of kidnapping of Kannada actor Rajkumar was also explained in detail. In terms of details, the book is good but somehow narration lacks depth, events were not written in chronological order and chapters keep shuffling in the 1990s and 2000s without much logic behind this. The author tried to cover so many things, every small ambush, which actually had no relevance in the story is covered in the book which could have been avoided. But, if you want to know about Veerappan and his life, his ambushes and finally his encounter, this definitely is a good read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nagarajan Madeswaran

    This book reads like a racy thriller fiction novel. That is the biggest let down! It reads like a fiction while it should have been a precise and effective account of the attempts and operations to capture a forest brigand. There are inspiring accounts of immense bravery, patriotism and good work by the law enforcement agencies and the officers. It is very heartening and encouraging to learn that our safety is in the hands of such able and committed men and women. But, this is a totally biased an This book reads like a racy thriller fiction novel. That is the biggest let down! It reads like a fiction while it should have been a precise and effective account of the attempts and operations to capture a forest brigand. There are inspiring accounts of immense bravery, patriotism and good work by the law enforcement agencies and the officers. It is very heartening and encouraging to learn that our safety is in the hands of such able and committed men and women. But, this is a totally biased and one-sided registration of the events. (Of course, it should not be a surprise knowing who the author is.) This book aims at glorifying the Police and demonizing the brigand and his men. The many uncomfortable questions raised on 'hunters' are brushed beneath the carpet. As noted by the author, many events are based on second-hand information and those given by wily witnesses and former gang members. It is acceptable that the author might have come to known what the characters spoke and how they reacted thorough witness statements and their undercover agents; but, knowing what Veerappan thought in his mind and what he muttered is beyond any reasonable understanding. It is these fictionalization that puts a big shadow on the acceptability of the accounts.

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