‘Nine out of ten times between hiding and searching teams, the hiding teams succeed.’


        Finding and bringing Veerappan to justice was an onerous task that took many years and claimed several lives in the process. It was a combination of experience, stratagem, meticulous planning and, to an extent, luck that finally helped us succeed. VEERAPPAN CHASING THE BRIGAND

        Many brave policemen, officers and courageous civilians took enormous risks and made huge personal sacrifices in an attempt to bring Veerappan to justice. I am entirely to blame for this book’s bias towards the Tamil Nadu Special Task Force (STF). Further, space constraints have led to the omission of and, at times, mere reference to several heroic episodes. But that should in no way detract from their contribution.

        I have made all efforts to present the events to the best of my   knowledge and as truthfully as possible. But several episodes described in this book are based on secondary reports gained from a multiplicity of sources. As such, I often had to deal with wildly contradictory versions of the same event.

        Wherever I encountered differing versions of the same event, I tried to reconcile them and provide the most logical, coherent and accurate account. But it is difficult to state with certainty that all events took place exactly the way they have been described in this book.

        As in all such operations, we witnessed courage and nobility as well as the seamier side of individuals and organizations. Wherever I have pointed out the latter, my intent was not to defame anyone, but to recreate the events as truthfully as possible.

In some cases, I have deliberately blurred sequences, obscured details and scrambled timelines in order to preserve operational secrecy and protect the identities of people who were involved in sensitive missions. Some of them continue to put their lives on the line for the nation even today.

        To sum up the experience, I will quote my colleague K.N. Mirji, ‘It’s like a football team. All eleven play, but one scores the goal.’


Simply written, the author easily manages to take you along on his journey… how it began, the struggles and finally accomplishment. An honest account with the right amount of detailing makes Veerappan: Chasing the Brigand a gripping read. -Akshay Kumar

True stories have rarely been this exciting. This book is a scintillating read! -Amish Tripathi

A meticulously researched non-fiction that hooks you like a compelling thriller. -Ashwin Sanghi

A fascinating, absorbing account of how one extraordinary man could challenge the might of two states, and another even more inspirational man could oppose and bring about his end by employing matching but superior leadership and tactical skills. [On] Reading his book, we come to understand why Vijay Kumar, a legend in his own right, opted to stay on in the police when he had been selected for the Indian Administrative Service.

-J.F. Ribeiro, Former DG, Punjab, and the author of Bullet for Bullet

A gripping tale, amazingly well-told. While being racy and riveting, the narrative is of immense interest to the professional as well, chronicling as it does aspects of operational planning, intelligence generation, focused training and excellent teamwork capped by leadership of the highest order, that led to success in a historic encounter of epic significance.

-P.K. Hormis Tharakan, former chief of Research & Analysis Wing (RAW), 2005-2007


Prologue: Springing the Trap

Part 1: The Making of a Cop

1.Life as a Rookie

2. The Call that Started It All

Part 2: The Veerappan Files

3. Rise of a Brigand

4. Death of a Newborn

5. A Blow to Veerappan

6. The Good Friday Massacre

7. Three Hit, Not Out

8. The Fort without a King

9. Ambush in MM Hills

10. The Biggest Raid on Veerappan’s Camp

11. The STF’s First Casualty-Senthil

12. The 1,000-crore Ransom Demand

13. Unfriendly Fire

14. Hillside Ambush

15. Execution of an Informer

16. One Day. Two Escapes

Part 3: The Rajkumar Saga and its Fallout

17. An Audacious Abduction

18. Hostage Crisis

19. A Hero’s Welcome

20. Close Encounters in Semmandhi

21. A Mother’s Wrath

22. The Marina Beach Encounter 23. Inside Veerappan’s Lair

24. The Last Victim

Part 4: Operation Cocoon

25. Back with the STF

26. Getting Down to Brass Tacks

27. Operation Boston

28. Operation Inundation

29. Planting a Mole

30. Enter Hitman

31. Contact, at Last

32. The Longest Day

33. The Longest Night

34. Shootout at Padi


Appendix 1





An honest account with incredible detailing makes Veerappan a gripping road – AKSHAY KUMAR


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