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Fugitives on the run: Hunted or captured

The ten year search for Osama Bin Laden has finally come to a dramatic end. Abhijit Patnaik and Kamayani Singh look at other notorious fugitives who managed to be on the run in spite of massive manhunts by law enforcement agencies.

india Updated: May 06, 2011 19:56 IST
Abhijit Patnaik and Kamayani Singh
Abhijit Patnaik and Kamayani Singh
Hindustan Times

The ten year search for Osama Bin Laden has finally come to a dramatic end, with helicopters crashing and fire-fighting under the cloak of darkness.

In this context,HT looks at other notorious fugitives who managed to be on the run in spite of massive manhunts by law enforcement agencies. The story of their eventual capture is part of modern historical folklore, and in some cases, straight out of a James Bond film.

Name: Velupillai Prabhakaran
Designation: Head, Liberation of Tamil Tigers Eelam
Born: November 26, 1954
Killed: May 18, 2009

Country: Sri Lanka
About: Fought the Sri Lanka government's mistreatment of the Tamil minority from 1972. Killed the pro-government mayor of the northern city of Jaffna in 1975. Responsible for the killings of thousands, including Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa and Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi via suicide bombers.

When/how captured or killed:
Killed in an attack while trying to flee the conflict zone of Mullaitivu , which was the Tigers' last stronghold, in an ambulance. Had a large bullet wound in his forehead, suggesting that he was killed by a gunshot.

Master Guerrilla:
Known by friends as "Thamby" (little brother in Tamil).Excellent at guerrilla skills; also had a fetish for cleanliness .Used to make young cadres to swat flies.

Name: Adolf Eichmann
Designation: Nazi Lieutenant Colonel in the German Army
Born: March 19, 1906
Died: May 31, 1962 by hanging

Country: Crimes in Europe during WW2

What he did:
With excellent organizational talents and ideological reliability, he was in charge of managing the mass deportation of Jews to extermination camps in German-occupied Eastern Europe.

On the Run:
Fled US captivity after the war and shifted to Argentina in 1950. Eichmann changed his name but never changed those of his wife and sons. It was this that led to his eventual capture by a team of Mossad (Israeli Secret Service) agents in a suburb of Buenos Aires on May 11, 1960 while getting off a bus. Was drugged and dressed as a flight attendant on his flight back to Israel.

Worked in several odd jobs-from Mercedes Benz factory foreman to a professional rabbit farmer. When captured by the Mossad, he said, "I have already surrendered to my fate".

Name: Radavan Karadzic
Designation: Bosnian Serb Leader
Born: June, 1945
Currently in Jail
Country: Bosnia

What he did: Serb forces, under Karadzic's command, committed war crimes against Muslims and Croats in and around Sarajevo. Also accused of the Srebrenica town massacre in July 1995 against the Muslim population, when 8000 people were killed.

On the Run:
A fugitive from 1995 when he was indicted by the UN war crimes tribunal. Worked at a private clinic in Belgrade specialising in alternative medicine and psychology under an alias. He grew a long beard to change his appearance.

He was arrested in Belgrade on 21 July 2008 in a raid by Serbian security forces. Karadzic's lawyer said his client was heading for a two-week spa holiday when he was arrested.

Fugitive Poet?

As a fugitive, he attended football matches of Serie A and that he visited Venice under the false identity. Has also published poetry while in jail.

Name: Illich Ramirez Sanchez aka Carlos the Jackal
Designation: Militant
Born: October 12, 1949 in Venezuela
Currently in Jail
Country: International

What he did:
Ramirez took over the OPEC headquarters in Vienna at a 1975 conference, taking 11 members hostage. In 1975, killed two unarmed agents of the French domestic intelligence agency, the DST. On 31 December 1983, bombs were exploded on two TGV trains, which he claimed was his doing.

In 1994, he underwent a minor testicular operation in a hospital in Sudan. Two days later he was moved to a villa for protection, where his own bodyguards tranquilized him and handed him over to French agents of the DST.

The Jackal:

Nicknamed "Carlos the Jackal" by the press after a reporter with The Guardian newspaper erroneously reported that Frederic Forsyth's Novel, The Day of the Jackal, was found among the terrorist's possession. The 2010 Olivier Assayas 's TV series Carlos documents his life.

Name: Saddam Hussein
Designation: Former President of Iraq
Born-Died: April 28, 1937-December 30, 2006
Country: Iraq

Why so notorious:
Iraq-Iran War (1980-1988) and the Invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Used chemical-weapons against Kurds in his country. Indulged in random execution, imprisonment and torture of his countrymen.

On the Run:
On the run for seven months after the Americans invaded Iraq in 2003.He released audio tapes during this period but his whereabouts remained unknown.

Captured on December 13, 2003 by US forces in Tikrit, Iraq from a hole at a farmhouse with two AK-47 rifles and US $750,000. Upon his capture is said to have said, 'My name is Saddam Hussein. I am the president of Iraq and I want to negotiate.' Picture showed him with a full beard and long, un-kempt hair.

Poor Childhood:
His family was so poor that sometimes he was forced to steal eggs, chicken and other food items to survive. Saddam planted a little garden outside his cell in Baghdad where he was kept after his capture.

Name: Koosai Muniswamy Veerappan
Designation: Dacoit and Sandalwood Smuggler
Country: India
Died: October 18, 2004

Why so notorious:
A robber-bandit who managed to dodge the police of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Killed 120 people, including 47 police and forest officials. Also killed elephants for their ivory and smuggled Sandalwood worth more than Rs.100 crore. Kidnapped many, including Kannada film actor Rajkumar and Karnataka minister H Nagappa.

On the Run:
On the run for more than two decades apart from a brief capture in 1986.

End of the road:
Killed on October 18, 2004 during a Tamil Nadu State Special task Force operation. He often used fake ambulances to travel to avoid suspicion. A police decoy gained the confidence of Veerappan after the decoy offered him one such vehicle, which was intercepted on the way to an eye doctor. The operation lasted 20 minutes.

Young Criminal:
Killed first elephant at the age of ten. In the 1960s he joined a gang of poachers and took over the reins later. Survived by his wife and two daughters-one of whom is studying to become an IAS officer.

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