Veerappan’s daughter Vidya Rani joins BJP

Vidya Rani, daughter of dead sandalwood smuggler Veerappan, joined the BJP on Saturday at an event organised in Tamil Nadu’s Krishnagiri.

Party general secretary Muralidhar Rao and former Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan were present at the event.

“I want to work for the poor and underprivileged irrespective of their caste and religion. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s schemes are for the people and I want to take them to the people,” said Vidya Rani.

Besides Vidya Rani, the event saw as many as 1,000 members from other political parties join the BJP.

Who was Veerappan?

Koose Munisamy Veerappan was an Indian bandit active for years in scrub and forest lands covering about 6,000 km² in the states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

For over a decade, Veerappan defied the state governments of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala and Indian Border security paramilitary forces and even maintained a small army, which at one point numbered hundreds. He was wanted for killing approximately 184 people.

He was also wanted for poaching about 200 elephants and smuggling ivory worth US$2,600,000 and about 10,000 tonnes of sandalwood worth approximately US$22,000,000.

A reward of US$790,000 was offered for Veerappan’s capture, yet he evaded arrest for 20 years until he was killed by police in 2004.

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