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The man who caught Veerappan alive
Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad | October 20, 2004 14:39 IST
Last Updated: October 20, 2004 17:02 IST
"He conned my son into entering a death trap. Now that the bandit is dead, my son's soul will rest in peace," was the reaction of P Anantha Rao, father of Indian Forest Service officer Pandillappalli Srinivas, who was beheaded by Veerappan in 1991.
Also see: 'How did Veerappan survive so long?' | The Veerappan Saga
"The Nakasura would have been dead long ago if my son had not believed in the principles of ahimsa [non-violence]," Rao said.
"This [the news of Veerappan's death] is the right thing to hear during Dussehera, which celebrates the victory of good over evil," P Jayalakshmi, Srinivas' mother said.
Srinivas' parents live in the coastal town of Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh. Srinivas joined the Indian Forest Service in 1979. He started his career as assistant conservator of forests at Chamarajnagar in Kollegal taluk. Gopinatham, the native village of Veerappan, was in his jurisdiction.
Srinivas made efforts to curb illegal activities such as the killing of elephants and smuggling of tusks and sandalwood. This brought him into direct conflict with Veerappan.
Srinivas managed to catch Veerappan alive in 1986, but the brigand escaped from police custody at Boodipada forest guest house where he was held.
In April 1990, the brigand ambushed and mowed down three sub-inspectors and a constable who were hot on his trail. Jolted by the incident, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu governments formed a joint Special Task Force to hunt for the brigand.
On the evening of November 9, 1991, Veerappan sent word through his brother Arjun that he would surrender at a farmhouse. When Srinivas arrived there, the brigand caught and beheaded him at Eric John Valley, a short distance away from Gopinatham village.
"My son was a karmayogi. He had faith in the goodness of human beings. His sacrifice will not go in vain. Good will ultimately prevail over evil," Anantha Rao told the local media as news of Veerappan's killing came on Tuesday.
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