By Indian Authors Non-Fiction

Veerappan: Chasing the Brigand by K. Vijay Kumar – Book review


Veerappan: Chasing the Brigand Book Cover Veerappan: Chasing the Brigand
K. Vijay Kumar
Rupa Publications India
February 14th 2017
Read on kindle

No other bandit in recent times has captured the public’s imagination as much as Koose Muniswamy Veerappan. Be it his trademark moustache, stories of his daring escapades or his ruthless massacre of officers, Veerappan continues to fascinate, even thirteen years after his death. Veerappan: Chasing the Brigand is a lucid and incisive account of the rise and fall of India’s most dreaded forest brigand. Chronicled by K. Vijay Kumar, IPS, the man who spearheaded the Tamil Nadu Special Task Force (STF) that planned and executed the dreaded bandit’s encounter, the book relives the various incidents that shaped Veerappan’s life – from his birth in Gopinatham in 1952 to his death in 2004 in a shootout in Padi. It traces his dramatic rise from a small-time poacher and sandalwood smuggler to a brutal fugitive who held three states to ransom for two decades. The ruthless killings and high-profile kidnappings masterminded by Veerappan, including the 108-day ordeal involving Kannada cinema superstar, Dr Rajkumar, are described in fascinating detail. Veerappan: Chasing the Brigand is the most authentic account of the life and times of the dreaded outlaw.


Veerappan has always been one of the most dreaded names in the history of India’s bandits and gangsters. Known for his famous moustache and a skinny, fit body, Veerappan went far in terrorizing the three southern states of India and taking them hostage. ‘Veerappan: Chasing The Brigand’ is a book about the bandit’s rise, criminal history, merciless operations and his final downfall. So here’s what the book has in store for readers.

Plot summary:

The book begins with a brief introduction of Koose Munniswamy Veerappan, popularly referred to as only Veerappan, his birth, village and initial criminal activities. Meanwhile, the plot wanders to the military operations in Kashmir headed by Vijay Kumar, the author of the book, who played an instrumental role in nabbing Veerappan.

Veerappan, who initially indulged in petty thefts and crimes, gradually rises to be one of the most merciless and feared bandits, thanks to the support of a few influential men in his circles. Much like the film Sholay, Veerappan lives in far-off jungles and exploits the villagers by demanding grains and food from them.

Soon after his criminal activities burgeon just like his gang, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu orders action against him. Thus, a Special Task Force (STF) is born which plays an important role in bringing the brigand down and finally capturing him.

Meanwhile, Veerappan isn’t happy with the STF constantly chasing him and his gang and inflicts revenge and atrocities on the important officers. In fact, he seeks revenge from everyone who aids the STF or provides any sort of information or intel against him.

For over twenty years, the STF personnel relentlessly chase the brigand, conducting various operations and venturing in the forests, indulging in gun fights and laying their lives for the safety of the people. But Veerappan is too well-acquainted with the forests to get trapped and nabbed by the STF.

However, as years pass, the constant pressure by the STF reduces his gang considerably. Also, a consistent eye problem contributes to his downfall.

Finally, in 2004, the STF lays a final trap under the leadership of Vijay Kumar to nab the dangerous brigand. Fortunately, the stars are on the STF’s side and the entire gang is caught.

Writing style:

Considering that the author of the book is not an author by profession, this book is an extremely well-written and professional masterpiece. All the incidents are adequately described, which make them an interesting read. The author has throughout maintained a simple yet descriptive style and kept the thriller quotient intact. It makes for an easy read.

My perception:

I downloaded this book from Kindle Unlimited on the recommendation of Sheetal. Since I did not know much about Veerappan initially, I wasn’t very keen on reading a book detailing police operations. But, to my great surprise, this book turned out to be the best book I’ve read in 2017. It isn’t a book that simply details police operations, it is a thrilling account of a fight between a bandit and the STB and how, after over twenty years of unsuccessful attempts, the STF’s master plan in 2004 finally paid off.

It is a book that teaches one to be patient and to believe in oneself. It is a proof that good always wins over evil and the fact that I finished this book somewhere during Holi makes it even better and apt.

Also, I would sincerely like to salute the efforts of the STF of both Tamil Nadu and Kerala and the entire police force that fought relentlessly to nab the notorious bandit. My heart goes to out to all those men and women who were mercilessly killed by Veerappan and his gang. Similarly, my heart fills with pride when I mention all those STF bravehearts who lost their lives in the various operations.

Thank you Vijay Kumar sir for providing us with this detailed account which is an experience in itself. I could feel the nervousness and the adrenaline rush every time I read about the operations, especially the concluding Operation Coccoon.

PS: Thanks Sheetal for recommending this book! 🙂

Grab a copy of this book from here, 

Paperback             Kindle edition

Until next time, Keep reading 🙂

Pooja Kshirsagar

Pooja is a full-time copywriter, a passionate blogger and an aspiring novelist. She believes in power of words and absolutely loves reading books. She’s here to help all the bookworms choose and read the right book and set out on a virtual journey through reading!

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