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The Hunt For Veerappan: Kannada audiences wary about Dr Rajkumar abduction depiction in Netflix documentary

The new Netflix documentary comes 23 years after the slain forest brigand abducted the Kannada matinee idol

The Hunt For Veerappan: Kannada audiences wary about Dr Rajkumar abduction depiction in Netflix documentary
Screengrab from The Hunt For Veerappan teaser.

Last Updated: 06.44 PM, Jul 29, 2023


On August 4, the new Netflix documentary, The Hunt For Veerappan, which, according to the streamer, follows the slain forest brigand’s rise from small-time smuggler to ‘legendary’ bandit, will drop on the platform. The trailer of the documentary, directed by Selvamani Selvaraj and produced by Apoorva Bakshi and Monisha Thyagarajan of Awedacious Originals, wherein Veerappan, who has killed over a 100 police men during the two-decade long manhunt to nab him, is portrayed as a Robinhood of sorts, has audiences wondering if the attempt is to glorify a criminal. The trailer even features what appears to be Veerappan’s voice saying that catching Veerappan is not even the stuff of dreams.


After the trailer dropped, several netizens from Karnataka wondered if the abduction of Kannada matinee idol Dr Rajkumar would also be a part of the documentary. The hope, they said was that if it is indeed in the narrative the makers would tread carefully and not present it in any manner that’s in bad taste to the late actor.

Veerappan had abducted Dr Rajkumar on July 30, 2000, in an armed attack, when the latter was in his ancestral hometown, Gajanur. He was held in captivity for 108 days before being released. At the time, it was rumoured that the family had paid Rs 40 crore ransom to secure Dr Rajkumar’s release, which they have steadfastly refuted over the years. The abduction had sparked tensions between the two states, with violence erupting against Tamilians in Bengaluru. The eventual release of the actor was facilitated following mediations through Nakheeran editor RR Gopal and Pazha Nedumaran.


In 2018, nine surviving members of Veerappan’s gang charged with abducting Dr Rajkumar were acquitted for want of evidence to prove the same.

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