May 24, 1993 is a day that is clearly etched in the mind of Gopal B Hosur, the former IG of Bengaluru. The officer who was actively involved in the nabbing of Veerappan, underwent several surgeries after he was hurt during the anti-Veerappan operations. At the release of Veerappan-Dantachorana Bennati translated into Kannada by Dr D V Guruprasad, former Director General of Police, and released by Police Commissioner Alok Kumar and Bangalore South MP Tejasvi Surya, Hosur recalled the trauma he went through after a bullet hit his neck and got lodged in his lungs.
“Doctors never thought I would survive. While I was hurt to a great extent, I survived because of the presence of my driver who reversed the jeep which helped,” Hosur said at the launch of the book at the Indian Institute of World Culture, Basavanagudi on Sunday morning.
Over the next several months, he underwent surgeries on his upper body and had to communicate through writing during those days. “Luckily, the road from MM Hills to Salem was cleared completely and the doctor had been alerted and was in attendance the second I reached the hospital,” said Hosur.
Speaking at the event, Dr D V Guruprasad, said, “The book is about the bandit who was a nightmare for the police force of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The book is written by K Vijay Kumar and I translated it to Kannada on his request. I am really glad to be sharing the stage with Gopal Hosur who was involved in task force that was behind capturing the bandit.”
Tejasvi Surya pointed out that while there is a lot spoken about the “commendable work by the armed forces, our police force is no less in maintaining the peace and security in the country.” “We haven’t celebrated the victory of the police force in our country in the way it should have been celebrated. The killing of Veerappan is perhaps the greatest operation conducted by the internal police in the history of the country. I am glad that this book will now reach a Kannada-speaking audience,” he said.
The Kannada book, published by Eka – Westland’s new imprint – is a lucid and incisive account of the rise and fall of India’s most dreaded forest brigand, and relives the various incidents that shaped Veerappan’s life, right 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.
The original book, titled Veerappan – Chasing The Brigand, was written by K Vijay Kumar, who spearheaded Operation Cocoon, that led to Veerappan’s encounter.