R. Krishna Kumar
Those who served in the STF to submit a memorandum to the Government
M.M. Hills forest tract has been opened up in stretches for tourists Forest Department has taken full control of the range
MYSORE: Two years after his death the memory of Veerappan continues to loom large in the M.M. Hill forests though normal life has returned to the villages where for two decades the brigand terrorised people.
The aura surrounding the brigand is gone but Veerappan has not ceased to be a topic of discussion among the public.
It was on October 18, 2004 that Veerappan and his associates were shot dead at Paparapatti in Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu by the Special Task Force. However, people of the region have not yet stopped talking about him. He is back in the news as Forest Department personnel have expressed their displeasure at being left out in the rewards that was distributed by the State Government for the Special Task Force personnel.
Kumar Pushkar, Deputy Conservator of Forests (Territorial), Kollegal division, said he received 70 applications from his staff who served in the STF and were now feeling let down.
All the forest department personnel who served in the STF and helped the task force personnel in combing operations and participated in various exercise, including intelligence-gathering, have decided to submit a memorandum to the Government. R. Uday Kumar, ACF, Kollegal division, who worked with slain forest officer Srinivas. who was beheaded by the brigand in 1990, said a report identifying all forest staff who were involved in the STF operations would be prepared.
"It is unfortunate that the services and contributions of the forest staff have been ignored," Mr. Uday Kumar said and added that it was their effort in intelligence-gathering and winning over the local villagers that helped reduce the size of Veerappan's gang.
The vast M.M. Hills forest tract has been opened up in stretches for tourists and nature lovers .