The police say, Veerappan and his aides were traveling in the ambulance van, and as soon as they got that intelligence they chased and compelled them to surrender. But as Veerappan and his aides started firing back, the Special Task Force (STF) was forced to retaliate. But according to some locals and local newspapers, there seems to be some confusing elements in this story.
First, the police says the STF chased Veerappan’s van in a lorry, and when Veerappan started firing at them, they retaliated. But no bullet is said to have penetrated the front of the van. Instead, the front of the van, without a bullet mark, from windshield to the top has crashed severely.
Further, if a vehicle is shot from outside the bullet hole should be protruding inside the vehicle. But in the van in which Veerappan came, most of the bullet holes are protruding outside. That means, those bullet holes were the result of shooting from inside. If Veerappan and his aides were firing at the STF, they should have fired through the glass window and not through door and rest of the parts (Unless Veerappan and his aides had decided to fire-at-will without aiming).
While we are debating if the bullets originated from inside the van or outside, the people who were inside such a bullet ridden van should be carrying many bullet wounds. But that’s not the case. Veerappan’s forehead alone has 2 bullets. Reports say it looked like he was shot from a point-blank range. The lorry which was said to be under fire, has just 3 bullet holes in it’s diesel tank. The STF searched for all the bullets under torch light and retrieved all of them. As a result, the type of bullets used also remains a mystery.
The van, in which Veerappan came, was covered. Reporters were allowed to take pictures of the van only from outside. The screen inside the van was pulled to cover the inside.
Some unconfirmed reports say that Veerappan may have been caught at least 3 days before this event. As he had diabetes and poor eye sight, he was unable to even walk and the police is said to have used this opportunity to take him to hospital. In the hospital he is said to have talked about many ‘truths’, which would have created a political turmoil if revealed to the public, and in order to prevent that he was killed and this fake encounter was setup. There is also a talk that this encounter was arranged in order to divert the attention of public from Jayalakshmi case which has been a big headache for the police department recently.
Veerappan’s wife Muthulakshmi has told reporters that her husband would never have surrendered to the police and he must have committed suicide by shooting himself. There is also a speculation that in the van, surrounded by STF, Veerappan may have asked his aide to shoot him so he may not be caught by police alive.
The police was very adamant to burn Veerappan’s body, but the locals opposed it and in the end the police had to bury him. When the police was asked if the DNA test was done to confirm Veerappan’s identity, they said it was not done and was not necessary as the fingerprints matched.
Was Veerappan really killed during the encounter?
Did Veerappan's van have a head-on collision with a lorry coming from the opposite direction? Was he killed in that accident? Is that why the front of the van was crashed without any bullet mark?
Did Veerappan commit suicide by shooting himself in the van?
Did Veerappan ask his aide to shoot him inside the van, surrounded by STF?
Did the police catch him days before and killed him and set this fake encounter?