The Tamil Nadu government will hand over the body of notorious sandalwood and ivory smuggler Veerappan to his wife Muthulakshmi.
The post-mortem examination of the bodies of Veerappan and his accomplices has been completed.
An officer of the Tamil Nadu police's Special Task Force said the bandit's wife is expected to reach the general hospital at Dharmapuri to receive the corpse.
Though tales of his cruelty are legion, Veerappan was said to have been kind to his wife. He had married Muthulakshmi, a shepherdess, in 1991.
In 2000, Muthulakshmi had told rediff.com that she had seen him cry only once. "He wept while proclaiming his love for me," Muthulakshmi said, adding that Veerappan was smitten by her.
She hailed from a village in the Dharmapuri forest range. The villagers there knew Veerappan very well. Muthulakshmi wanted to meet him and marry him because she always loved his ferocious handlebar moustache and his notoriety.
Muthulakshmi is now said to be working in a factory in Hennur, Tamil Nadu.
In the last assembly election in Tamil Nadu, the Pattali Makkal Katchi, which had been demanding amnesty for Veerappan and his gang, tried to get Muthulakshmi to contest on its ticket. But she turned the PMK down.
The women in Veerappan's wake