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Veerappan still alive for villagers?

Exactly a year after his dramatic killing by Tamil Nadu police, forest brigand Veerappan seems to live on as the "messiah" of poor residents of villages on the fringe of dense jungles of Erode and Salem.

india Updated: Oct 18, 2005 18:29 IST

Exactly a year after his dramatic killing by Tamil Nadu police, forest brigand Veerappan seems to live on as the "messiah" of poor residents of villages on the fringe of dense jungles of Erode and Salem.

Veerappan, who was a terror for nearly three decades in the forests of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and parts of Kerala with his poaching, killing and abductions, was killed, along with his two close aides in a dramatic encounter with Tamil Nadu Special Task Force near Dharmapuri on this day last year.

Though the saga of the most wanted outlaw was consigned to history books and police files, his 'Robinhood' image still lives in some villagers who were well looked after by Veerappan during his tenure as an 'uncrowned king' of the region.

A steady flow of visitors and villagers is seen at the the grave of Veerappan at Moolakkadu, and they take sand from there, considering it as auspicious, reminding the brigand's popularity, police sources said.

Some people even inscribe 'Veera Man' (Great land) on the rocks and concrete slabs around the grave, they said.

The support and the loyality of the villagers to the outlaw was evident from the fact that no one had even or ever assisted or given any clue on the hideouts or whereabouts of Veerappan to STF about their 'saviour,' for 30 years.

First Published: Oct 18, 2005 18:29 IST