By Team Mangalorean
Pics by Violet Pereira
Mangalore Aug 25: City's special police squad under the able leadership of inspector Gaonkar nabbed 7 persons in connection with the shootout cases near Kadri, Udupi and other places. The accused were produced in front of the media at the commissioner's office on August 25.
Addressing the media, police commissioner Seemant Kumar Singh said that during the month of May two motorcyclists shot at a real estate developer, who runs Prithvi builders, near Kadri Park while he was eating fast food with his family. The persons who had come on a motorbike shot at the car of the builder and sped away. In a similar case in Udupi two persons on motorcycles fired three rounds at the Airody Jewellers' cashier making an attempt at his life. The shootouts were carried out by the members of underworld don Bannanje Raja gang.
The Mangalore city special squad along with the crime investigation officers nabbed seven people in connection with both the shootouts. Further he said that this was a well-organized plan and all the seven were working for Bannanje Raja and were involved in extortion in the city.
Further he said on May 26 evening when Suresh Bhandary was near the Kadri park along with his wife and daughter, two unidentified bikers arrived and pumped bullets into the car and tried to kill Suresh Bhandary. A case had been registered against Bannanje Raja and his gang in Urva Police Station. On August 19 the same gang had fired three rounds at the cashier of Airody Jewellers in Udupi and sped away in the bike and the case had been registered in Udupi police station.
With a view to nabbing the persons involved in the shootout, police commissioner Seemant Kumar set up a team with DCP Muthuraya and D Dharmaiah and north police instpector Vinay Gaonkar. The same gang of Bannanje Raja was about to make one more attempt of extortion in the city.
On coming to know of the gang staying at Kottara Chowki, the police team in a swift operation on Thursday at 11.00 am raided their hideout and nabbed Bannanje Raja's gang members. They are Devadas Shetty (44) from Kottara Chowki, Neeraj Shrivastav alias Manish Kumar alias Rahul (25) from Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, Ali Husain (22) from Gorakhpur, Vinod Kulal (29) from Jalligudde in the city and recovered a pistol, a revolver, six bullets, a car and a mobile phone. Manish Kumar was said to be supplying weapons for the underworld hooligans and through Javed alias Ajay from Gorakhpur, Manish and Ali Husain become the sharpshooters for Bannanje Raja.
The other three, Amit Chaurasia (27) from Chafra Bihar, Rehaz Khan (41) and Puttaswamy (44) from Gokulam, Mysore who had come to sell the firearms were arrested and the police have recovered a pistol, five rounds of ammunition and an Indica car. A case has been registered in Kavoor police station.
Further he said that the police would search for more evidence and whoever was involved in such cases by providing shelter, food and vehicle to the accused would be taken into custody so that no locals might support such crime and criminals in future. He also said that the four accused are from UP and Bihar and they were here to collect hafta for Bannanje Raja. The locals boys helped the four in committing the crime. They had also provided them with shelter as well as food and they were taking them to the spot on their bikes. All the seven have been taken into custody and investigation is going on.
Seemant Kumar further said that the recommendation letter had been sent to the DGP and IGP for rewarding the police officers who succeeded in their mission in nabbing the accused. The officers will be rewarded Rs one lakh for their commendable job in tracking down the culprits. He also said that the criminals came from outside the state and were staying in local houses and gathering information from the locals and planning accordingly. The police would investigate and ascertain whether more locals are involved in such crimes because it is not easy for people from other states to come here and target particular persons or know the places.