Book Review: Veerappan-Chasing the Brigand by K Vijay Kumar

He was the man who terrorized the two southern states for over a decade. Koose Muniasamy Veerapppan, or just Veerappan, holed up in the deep vastness of the Dhimbam forest that lay over Karnataka and Tamilnadu, was once the most dreaded bandit and smuggler. The book Veerappan: Chasing the Brigand by K Vijay Kumar is an account of who exactly this man was, his deeds from sandalwood smuggling to illegal poaching, the mammoth manhunt that saw the loss of several lives, the Special Task Force, and finally Operation Cocoon, in which the bandit finally is killed.

Retired IPS officer K Vijay Kumar was the man who took over the STF to undertake the deadly operation. The book is a wonderfully pieced together account, containing anecdotes, statements and incidents over the years, when Veerappan and his men proved to be tough opponents to the Special Task Force.

“I wanted this book to read like a thriller,” Vijay Kumar wrote…

Indeed this book reads nothing less than a fast paced thriller. It begins with a call that was first made to K Vijay Kumar by the then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha in June 2001, inviting him to head the Tamil Nadu Special Task Force. Through a series of flashback, the book brings facets of Veerappan, his growing up, early poaching days, and what it took to make Veerappan the dreaded bandit that he was. Vijay Kumar marvels the life of Veerappan, as he unravels never before known facts about him. Veerappan’s had many a close brush with the law, yet the bandit gets lucky almost every time. Splendid narration, with loads of dramatic twists and turns, the book is nothing less than a perfect Bollywood pot boiler.

Not to forget, Veerappan’s infamous acts, of kidnapping the Kannada Superstar Rajkumar, his interviews with the Tamil magazine Nakeeran and other stories that have sprung around him over the years, making him a national and international media favorite.

I found the book to be a credible account of Veerappan. A few portions were deliberately blurred to retain the operation secrecy, though I would have preferred to have gotten more clarity, to exactly understand the extent and magnanimity of “Operation Cocoon” in nabbing Veerappan. The book is not exactly a biography of Veerappan. It in fact is the STF version of the manhunt. With this regard I found it to be a bit inadequate in its information.

Nevertheless Veearrpan: Chasing the Brigand is unputdownable. Here’s a true account of a police operation, which reads nothing short of a thriller!!

3 comments

  1. I love reading such real life stories, and this one seems to be just the book to read and enjoy some real-life action, as opposed to the reel-life action we have to endure at times! 🙂
    Thank you for this review, Ramya! 🙂

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