Veerappan: poacher, smuggler, killer -- a fugitive who for more than three decades has sustained a crime frenzy as action packed and outlandish as anything Hollywood (or even Bollywood) could conjure.
Determined to escape the crushing poverty of his childhood village, Veerappan was lured to a life of crime in his adolescence and eventually amassed a gang with as many as 150 members. He has kidnapped wealthy men, poached precious resources, and viciously ambushed police, killing more than a hundred. He stole such great quantities of explosives from nearby granite operations that the government ordered the industry to shut down. Yet to this day he has eluded capture, despite the government's creation of a special task force, the sole purpose of which is to stop him.
The impenetrable Indian jungle provides him with shelter and refuge, while villagers, whether from fear or admiration, protect him from the police, so that year after year he has grown bolder and more power hungry. His most audacious act to date -- the kidnapping of India's biggest film star -- caused nationwide public upheaval and brought the film industry to a halt, while his demands for ransom presented the government with a crippling legal dilemma.
Investigative journalist Sunaad Raghuram's meticulously researched report follows Veerappan's violent progression from a small-time poacher to the bloodthirsty criminal who has flouted the entire Indian police force and government for decades. Using the personal testimony of Veerappan's family members and closest associates, Raghuram recounts this outlaw's crimes and examines his personal life as well, including a surprisingly touching first person account of what Veerappan's wife has endured. Veerappan: India's Most Wanted Man details the methods and madness of a man alternately hailed as a messiah and condemned as a murderer.
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Sunaad Raghuram was born in Mysore, India. He has written extensively for the Indian Express, Times of India, Deccan Herald, and Bangalore Eveninger and for Zeenext.com. He lives in Mysore with his wife and daughter.From Publishers Weekly:
Journalist Raghuram conveys the complexities of rural Indian society in his debut, a sprawling tale of the country's notorious bandit king, with a bounty of four million rupees on his head. Born in 1952 in the poverty-stricken region of Karnataka, Veerappan turned to crime as a teenager and rapidly established himself as a ruthless gangster and smuggler of ivory and sandalwood. In a vicious battle of wills with police, the bandit constructed sophisticated lethal ambushes, while the police tortured and summarily executed Veerappan's henchmen and even detained his wife. Veerappan then escalated the war, abandoning poaching for ransom kidnapping. Beginning with forest rangers, Veerappan progressed to more prominent victims, culminating in his 2000 snatch of the revered, aging film actor Rajkumar in return for whom he made surprisingly political demands, becoming suddenly the political messiah of the Tamil masses, which resulted in legal and political upheaval. Veerappan's saga strikingly resembles those of other gangsters, from Al Capone to the Chinese Triads, as in Veerappan's largesse toward impoverished locals in exchange for covert support. Raghuram's elaborately detailed account becomes somewhat overwhelming with its large cast of cops, gangsters, family members and luckless bystanders and numerous violent encounters, schemes and wilderness treks. Still, it's never dull, and it conveys an important story of contemporary India with descriptive flavor and attention to such social ambiguities as the hatred of police and admiration of the bandits.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description New York, NY, U.S.A.: HarperCollins Publishers, 2002, New York, NY, U.S.A., 2002. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First. Hard Cover. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. A crisp new hardback first edition with a crisp new DJ. Bookseller Inventory # 011191
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 2001. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First U. S. Edition (stated). FIRST PRINTING of the First U. S. Edition (stated). The biography of Veerappan, a notorious modern criminal in India who has eluded police and government forces there for over three decades, hiding out in the jungle in between leading his gang to wild feats of smuggling, killing, poaching, kidnapping, robbery, etc., becoming a national hero or anti-hero to millions of Indians whilst driving investigatory authorities to great frustration. Has much information on his life and background, his wife's travails, the attitudes of authorities, much more. Hardcover with dust jacket, contains illustrations, glossary, 284pp. A very nice copy, the jacket neatly encased in an acid-free archival plastic protector. Rare. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 00013090
Book Description Ecco, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0066210631
Book Description Ecco, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110066210631