4 Scent of a smug­gled wood

Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT -

In the 1990s, san­dal­wood in In­dia got an un­likely fan—a brig­and named Veer­ap­pan ("Catch me a colos­sus", Oc­to­ber 1-15, 1997). His smug­gling ac­tiv­i­ties re­sulted in a large-scale de­struc­tion of san­dal­wood, what Anil Agar­wal called the "ef­fect of Veer­ap­pan phen­emo­men". Veer­ap­pan may be long dead, but smug­gling has de­pleted the valu­able tree to the point of near ex­tinc­tion.

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