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Known as the Sandalwood smuggler and a notorious poacher, Veerappan was one of the most wanted Indian Bandit (dacoit) with a reward of Rs 40 lakh on his capture. He was quite famous for his kattabomman moustache.
You'd be surprised to know that Veerappan was just ten years old when he shot his first elephant. And he committed his first murder at the age of 17.
If reports and statistics are to be believed, Veerappan has killed over 184 people that included mostly policemen and forestry officials.
Sadly, Veerappan was not reluctant to kill even the civilians. He once killed a man only on basis of suspicion, for just travelling in a police jeep. Veerappan often killed people suspecting them to be police informers.
Veerappan is beloved to have killed over 2,000 elephants and got over 88,000 pounds of ivory and smuggled sandalwood worth Rs.75 crore.
Veerappan might come across as an illiterate liberate and unaware dacoit but he has a brilliant PR machinery working for him that consisted attractive tribal girls. You would be amazed to know that he had his PR offices in London and one in New York too.
Once when Veerappan was caught in the jungle and was about to be shot in his head, he immediately called up some VVIP from his phone, who told the police marksmen with the gun to lower his rifle and Veerappan just walked away and he was so easily let go.
Despite being the most wanted dacoit, Veerappan had his own small army, which at one point targeted and shot over hundreds of people.
Interestingly, when Veerappan got married in 1991 to a shepherdess named Muthulakshmi, it was his moustache and notoriety that got her attracted to this bandit.
After marrying Veerappan, his wife Muthulaxmi used to run a small grocery shop and never gave the impress that they were affluent enough to run a family. Even their daughter Vidyarani looked like any kid from a lower middle class family.
Reportedly, Veerappan and his wife even strangled one of their kids soon after birth because she was their third successive girl. After that, he didn't plan any more kids.
After Veerappan died, his wife was quoted saying in an interview that he was a 'loving father and good husband'. She even revealed that that Veerappan had asked her not to come to jungle to live him for the sake of their kids.
Even when Veerappan has all the money that he needed to feed his family, his only indulgence used to be an old tape recorder, a black and white television and some dirty movie cassettes. His shabby and ill fitting clothes were of course always a part of his wardrobe.
Among all the crimes that Veerappan committed in his lifetime, the most famous and hyped was kidnapping India's top movie star, Rajkumar.
After receiving the ransom for actor Rajkumar's kidnapping, Veerappan flew in an interior decorator from New York to get a whole new look for his house. He made so much money that he had some MF Hussain paintings on his walls and even hoped that the artist would someday come down to paint his portrait.
Veerappan had also kidnapped former regional minister for Agricultural marketing, H. Nagappa in 2002. While the special task forces and police worked together to get Nagappa released but after the failure of encounter, his body was found after three months in a Karnataka forest.
After the abduction and killing of regional minister H. Nagappa, Karnataka State Government had even increased the reward on Veerappan's capture to Rs 5,00,00,000.
Believe it or not but almost for 15 long years, Veerappan managed to defy the state governments of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala besides Indian Border security paramilitary forces, until he was shot dead by the police in 2004.