Nearly 15 years since forest brigand Veerappan was taken down following the ‘Operation Cocoon’ in the forests of Tamil Nadu, a woman associate from his gang was arrested in Karnataka Sunday.
Identified as Stella Mary (Stella), the 40-year-old who was arrested by Kollegal crime branch police from Jageri village in Chamarajanagar district had been absconding for the last 27 years, the police confirmed.
“Stella has been absconding since 1993 after was booked under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act. A close aide of Veerappan, she was initially arrested for taking shots to drive elephants away from her sugarcane field causing a minor fire. When questioned on how she knew to operate a gun, she revealed her involvement with Veerappan and his gang,” Chamarajanagar Superintendent of Police H D Ananda Kumar said.
The police added that Stella also informed that she was had married another person after her first husband Vellayan had died of illness.
Stella then married Veluswamy, a resident of Jageri, and the couple was living by cultivating sugarcane on rented land near Chennipuradoddi, the police added. She is facing three other cases under TADA for her alleged involvement in the Palar bomb explosion case, illegal transportation of arms and attack on Ramapura police station.
After the arrest made by a team of officers led by Kollegal Deputy Superintendent of Police Naveen Kumar, Stella was produced before the court and sent in judicial custody yesterday.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines