132 murder cases were filed against Veerappan
Besides the sensational Rajkumar kidnapping case, Veerappan also kidnapped and killed Nagappa, a former minister of Karnataka. As many as 132 murder cases were filed against the brigand.
ERODE: Besides the sensational Rajkumar kidnapping case, Veerappan also kidnapped and killed Nagappa, a former minister of Karnataka. As many as 132 murder cases were filed against the brigand.
Among Veerappan’s early victims, killed in 1978, was one Parmasivam, his rival in sandalwood smuggling.
There followed killings of forest guard Chithranaik, killed in Kodagu district, Ranger Chidambaram, at Kongarpalayam, Gobi, forest guard Mohan, five policemen including SIs Dinesh and Ramalingam at Gobinatham, Karnataka, District Forest Officer Srinivasan, five policemen at Ramapuram, six policemen led by SP Harikrishna, 24 police and Forest officials in a bomb blast at Palaru, six policemen in a nearby place, three policemen including sub-inspector Senthil Kumar, and BSF jawan Bhupendra Kumar.
Veerappan kidnapped Forest and police officials in 1994 and 1995 and also attacked the Vellithirupur police station.
Though Tamil Nadu and Karnataka created a joint STF and tried to hunt down Veerappan, their efforts were not successful. Later, the late Chief Minister Jayalaltihaa fully empowered the then DGP K Vijay Kumar to wipe out the gang. Veerappan and three others were shot dead by a police team led by the DGP in an encounter near Papparapatti on October 18, 2004.
The kidnapping of Rajkumar had received worldwide attention as the forest brigand Veerappan was already known for such daring actions. The kidnapping took place on the night of July 30, 2000, when Rajkumar, along with his wife and family members, came for a housewarming ceremony to his farmhouse at Thottakajanur. Along with Rajkumar, his relatives Govindaraj and Nagesh and an assistant director, Nagappa, were also kidnapped and taken to the Sathy forests.
The incident worsened the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka relations, already strained over the Cauvery dispute. There was widespread panic among the Kannada matinee idol’s fans. In fact, the entire film industry in the country was worried.
The then DMK government in Tamil Nadu sent some dignitaries on a ‘peace mission’ to meet Veerappan and negotiate Rajkumar’s safe release. Veerappan terms included unveiling of a Thiruvalluvar statue at Bengaluru and some others relating to the Cauvery dispute.
This created doubts among the public that Veerappan was under the control of some Tamil extremists, who had reportedly joined him. It was after 108 days in Veerappan’s custody that Rajkumar was released. On being freed, Rajkumar came to the house of the then Panchayat president Ramarajan’s house at Budapadi, near Bhavani. He stayed in the house for the day and left the next day by helicopter to Bengaluru.