SALEM: For Tamil Nadu Police as well as the Forest Department, poacher Saravanan is a mere local minion who cannot be compared with Veerappan. But for those on the other side of the State border, he is a dangerous person to be let loose.
A former Kolathur Inspector says, Saravanan, who was considered a local rowdy, was extremely cooperative with the police. “We need not arrest him. He would just walk in to the police station if summoned,” he says. The present inspector, N Manoharan, too agrees.
Mettur DSP M Ravikumar was baffled that Saravanan is being compared to Veerappan. “After a history sheet in 2006, he has hardly had two cases registered against him in Mettur sub-division. One of the cases, registered in 2012, was under the Arms Act and the other one is a case of theft,” he says.
Saravanan was previously arraigned in the Vellitirupur murder case but was acquitted. The Tamil Nadu Forest Department in Mettur has a lone case of ivory poaching against him. Ramamurthy (37), Saravanan’s cousin brother and a lorry driver, claims that Saravanan was an ordinary fisherman. “How can an STF informer’s son become another Veerappan,” he questions.
Saravanan’s father Irusar was with the Tamil Nadu Special Task Force (STF) right from the time when the Veerappan saga began. Irusar was accorded special protection by the STF as it was feared that Veerappan might harm the informers, says Ramamurthy.