Indian film on life of bandit Veerappan to be released

Film poster of Vana Yudham
Image caption Veerappan was one of India's most notorious bandits who evaded capture for more than 20 years

A new film about India's most notorious bandit Veerappan is due to be released in Tamil Nadu state on Thursday.

Vana Yudham, directed by AMR Ramesh, has several of the dead bandit's gang members in the cast.

Veerappan was accused of murders, kidnappings, smuggling and poaching.

He was on the run for some 20 years before being killed by police on 18 October 2004. His widow Muthulakshmi had objected to the film and tried to stop its release.

The Tamil language film was shot in the forests that border the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka where Veerappan lived. The bandit is being played by actor Kishore.

"The movie is a result of 11 years of research," said Ramesh who found it amusing that one man could be "lord of the forest and not be captured by police" for so long.

A Kannada language version titled Attahasa has also been made and will be released on the same day.

Koose Muniswamy Veerappan, a tall, wiry bandit with his trademark handlebar moustache, came to be considered the country's most ruthless and daring outlaw.

He started off as an ivory poacher before moving on to sandalwood smuggling and kidnappings.

One of his victims was a former state minister.

He also kidnapped one of the country's most famous film stars, Rajkumar, and held him for 108 days.