Cashing in on Veerappan’s infamy

  • Salil Mekaad, Bangalore
  • |
  • Updated: Apr 14, 2010 01:06 IST

The tourism and forest departments of BJP-governed Karnataka plan to launch terror tourism, based on the life and trails of forest brigand Veerappan, shot down by a special police team in 2004.

Tourism Director K Vishwanatha Reddy said construction of ecotourism facilities, including solar electrification, is at an advanced stage in Veer-appan’s village, Gopinatham, 200 km from Bangalore.
A trekking scheme, called Mystery Trails, will be part of the package for high-end and mid-rung tourists.

“Mystery Trails aims to explore the myths surrounding the brigand, his hideouts, escape routes and harsh living conditions,” said Deputy Conservator of Forests Narayan Swamy. “People would surely like to know what were the incidents that took place.

The “incidents” during Veerappan’s 20-year reign of terror across 6,000 sq km of forests in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, included the killing of 184 people, many of them police and forest officials, smuggling of sandalwood worth Rs 103 crore, and poaching of at least 200 elephants.

 

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