Veerappan had a gang of more than 150 heavily armed individuals at the height of his influence. Even though the local villagers looked to him and his gang as their saviours, they regularly gave the police trouble. Through one-on-one interviews with numerous people connected to the sandalwood smuggler and elephant poacher, the enlightening Netflix series “The Hunt for Veerappan” traces the rise and fall of the legendary jungle brigand. Additionally, viewers met Mahalingam, KM Govindan, and Anburaj, three members of Veerappan’s group who managed to avoid legal repercussions. Let’s find out where they are right now since folks are now curious to discover more.
Who Are Mahalingam, KM Govindan and Anburaj?
Mahalingam, a local of the Gopinathan hamlet, described how Veerappan amassed followers and rose to the position of gang leader by making a substantial profit from his smuggling operations. He also mentioned that they initially operated locally but quickly expanded their operations throughout the entire MM forest, thereby eradicating the resistance from Forest Department personnel. It’s interesting to note that Veerappan’s group, including Mahalingam, didn’t seem to care much about the dead elephants because they felt they had a claim to the resources. Additionally, they were willing to follow their commander and did not think twice about killing other gangs who tried to oppose them.
KM Govindan joined Veerappan’s gang when he was smuggling sandalwood and became deeply involved in daily operations. The former gang member claimed throughout the episode that Veerappan could recollect the spots with the greatest concentration of sandalwood trees because the group knew the entire forest like the back of their hands. In fact, there were times when Govindan would cut down trees all day long until the time came for the sandalwood to be removed by vehicles. Readers might also be interested to hear that every truck driver was instructed to avoid stopping for forest officials and, if necessary, run them over. Veerappan maintained tight control over the trafficking network, yet he frequently showed kindness to the locals and members of his gang.
Anburaj asserted that he was the gang’s youngest member and was good friends with notorious forest brigand Veerappan. Interestingly, Veerappan did not worry much about caste prejudice despite the societal mores of the day because his gang had members from various castes, religions, and walks of life. Veerappan had really come close to establishing a tiny hamlet in the heart of the jungle, and as the inhabitants treated him like a king, he frequently presided over and rendered judgement on issues and conflicts that were brought before a court of law, according to Anburaj. In reality, Anburaj still holds the opinion that the public’s willingness to hail a wanted felon as their hero demonstrated the police force’s incapacity to control the situation amicably.
Where Are Mahalingam, KM Govindan and Anburaj Now?
On orders from their commander, Mahalingam, KM Govindan, and Anburaj turned themselves in to the police along with a number of other former gang members of Veerappan. Despite reports that Veerappan requested them to turn themselves in because he thought the state would grant them amnesty, all three were ultimately prosecuted in court and given prison sentences in the late 1990s.
Mahalingam and KM Govindan chose to embrace a life of solitude after being freed from prison, hence little is known about their current whereabouts. They appear to be continuing to lead tranquil lives in South India, though. Anburaj, however, was just 20 years old when he received a life sentence. Although the former gang member thought he would perish in prison, he soon turned to theatre and started performing with other prisoners. It’s interesting to note that Anburaj even petitioned the jail authorities to include female inmates in the performances; this is how he first met Revathi. Anburaj and Revathi, who both had life sentences for murder, fell in love and maintained their romance by writing each other handwritten letters.
Even though Revathi gave birth to their first child in prison in 2015, Anburaj and Revathi were married while the latter was on interim parole in 2011. The following year, Revathi was freed from jail. By coincidence, Anburaj was freed the next year, and the couple, along with their two kids, are now living in the Tamil Nadu village of Kazhuthapali. Additionally, Anburaj runs a small shop that sells groceries, organic goods, and handicrafts to make a living, while Revathi wants to launch a theatre company at a nearby women’s prison.