Karnataka: Madani hand in ending the Veerappan saga?

More than 12 years after the operation, Kumar has penned his book on the sensational incident.

Bengaluru: Is ‘Damani’ – the secretive man, who finds mention in Chapter 24 of his tell-all book - ‘Chasing the Brigand’ by K. Vijay Kumar, the hunter of Veerappan and former chief of Tamil Nadu, Special Task Force (STF), indeed the terror accused and chairman of the Kerala based People’s Democratic Party - Abdul Nasser Madani?

“We had approached Madani for help in getting critical information on Veerappan. Madani knew Veerappan’s elder brother. The two were lodged in the Coimbatore prison then. Madani had agreed to help the STF,” claimed AIADMK MLA and former TN director general of police, R Nataraj, who was Vijay Kumar’s predecessor in the STF.

Veerappan was gunned down by the Tamil Nadu STF along with three of his associates near Dharmapuri forest on October 18, 2004, when Kumar was heading ‘Operation Cocoon’ in which STFs from Karnataka and Kerala also took part.

More than 12 years after the operation, Kumar has penned his book on the sensational incident. “In the beginning of my book, I have written that I deliberately blurred sequences, obscured details and scrambled timelines to preserve operational secrecy and protect the identities of people who were involved in sensitive missions. I cannot disclose the real identity of Damani because he was part of the operation and was approached by my predecessor in the STF. Damani knew Veerappan’s elder brother Madhaiyen, who was in the same jail,” said Kumar.


Those who are familiar with Madani can trace him to the character of Damani, In chapter 24 of the book. Kumar has introduced him as the “leader of a religious fundamentalist group.” He was lodged in the Coimbatore Central Jail on charges of “involvement in a conspiracy to carry out blasts in several south Indian cities.” He suffered from several ailments, including “weak muscles and bones.”

Sharing some interesting details of the manhunt for Veerappan, Kumar has said that over the years, Veerappan had become desperate.

“He had money but was short of manpower and weapons and he knew that he was surrounded by the STF. We wanted critical information about him, his location and his gang. The Karnataka STF had brought some local underworld players to infiltrate the late brigand’s lair, but they developed cold feet after they were given a sneak peek of the Satyamangalam forests.

“Then we tried to get the one-eyed-don from Chennai for the operation but just when we were mobilizing him, the Chennai Crime Branch arrested him in one of their cases. Then one Hidayatullah from south Tamil Nadu volunteered to bring his team. Veerappan didn’t know that he had given free boarding and lodging for three weeks to his potential assassins,” said Kumar.

Regarding Veerappan’s wealth, the former STF chief said while he stashed his money in the forest, he had also lent it to many people.

“There was a garbled message collected by the Intelligence in which he had mentioned that he had given four. We don’t know whether this was four crore or four lakh and who was the beneficiary. He had on one occasion given '5 lakh to someone else,” he added.

The author will be present for a special launch of ‘Chasing the Brigand’ in Bengaluru on Friday evening.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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