BENGALURU: It is a gripping book about hunting down one of the most infamous brigands in the country. In discussion at the Bangalore Literature Festival 2017 was a story about what went into the killing of Veerappan.“Whether you want to become the prey or predator in the jungle is your choice,” said Vijay Kumar, the author of the book Veerappan: Chasing the Brigand, as he got candid in a discussion in the city on Sunday, the second day of the festival. From the border issues that bother Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to gathering intelligence, former IPS Kumar spoke at length about the contents of his book. In conversation with Kanwaljit Deol, he described Veerappan as an over bloated balloon that had to be punctured.
“He was ahead of us in jungle craft. Intelligence was flowing more towards him than us. With no district magistrates appointed in the area, no one took us seriously,” he said. Kumar said locals believed that they were “tourist police” and did not extend much support as they believed that they would not stay in the place for long.
The situation, he recollected, grew sensitive following the kidnap of Kannada film actor Rajkumar. “The Tamil population was under threat. The situation was so, especially in Kollegal which had Tamil-speaking population in large numbers,” he said. Through the operation that lasted months, he spoke about instances as mentioned in the book about false alarms, accidental shooting and the need for colour code. “In a jungle, if you carry your stars on the shoulder, you will be the first to be shot at,” he explained. He added that he was guilty of using Veerappan’s wife in an attempt to capture him.
Penning another book
After his book on the killing of Veerappan, Kumar is set to author yet another book. Even as he refused to divulge details about the contents of the book, Kumar saidthat it was based on real life incidents that took place in his career. “This one is not about Veerappan,” he added.