This bustling port on the Gulf of Mannar is a haven for smugglers and bootleggers. The locals all carry aruvals – the lethal local machete. In between smuggling, bootlegging and loansharking, they entertain themselves with caste wars and blood feuds.
Tuticorin, in short, is like R.K. Narayan’s Malgudi, plus aruvals and hooch.
A young police officer with scarcely any knowledge of Tamil was in charge of the district in the 1980s. Anoop Jaiswal handled the underworld of Tuticorin in a rather unorthodox way, dealing compassionately with murderers, sex workers, bootleggers and other unusual characters.
A fascinating look at small-town policing in the days before cell phones and the internet.
Tuticorin: Adventures in Tamil Nadu's Crime Capital