Bengaluru in its raw silhouette of crime and mafia has witnessed those days of gruff where blood flowed like a water and lives cleaved in the hands of inhumane racketers. The gangland led by a series of gangsters missed no chance to rule the city like demons outraged in vengeance. It was a time when mafia in the city was at its peak and all the cosa nostra and organized crimes intact with politics made it to the barbarous history of deaths in silence. From Jayaraj, Kotwal Ramachandra, to Mutthappa Rai, and Thanvir – Bangalore Underworld drowned innocents for their wrath and lust for money and power.
Sunup of the First Don
It all started when Kodigehalli Mune Gowda raising to the title of ‘Don’ and started collecting haftas from arrack shops and bawdy houses of the city’s gullies. It was only when a prologue for roll-call business was written and the later days aided to the dawn of Underworld Dons in Bangalore.
Much before Mune Gowda became successful in building his empire, in the 1970s, Jayaraj and Kotwal Ramachandra entered the field in silence. The end of Mune Gowda was merely kept in dark but the way Jayaraj took after in co-operation with politicians made the roots of underworld stronger in the city.
M.P Jayaraj – The First Ever Don of Bangalore Underworld
Jayraj was brought to the forefront of Bangalore underworld by M.D Nataraj (then son-in-law of the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Devaraj Urs). Jayaraj, who used to practice wrestling at Annayappa Garadi in Thigalarapet became the president of Indira Brigade, the youth wing of Congress party. It is said that Mr. DevRaj Urs used the illegal means to quell the opposition and one of them was the use of underworld.
Jayaraj literally ruled Bangalore underworld in the 70s under the guardianship of M.D Nataraj until he was sentenced to Jail for attacking Thigalarapete Gopi in court premises. While he was behind the bars, DevRaj Urs died and his hold in the field began to loosen. When he came out after ten years, Bangalore underworld was taken over by Kotwal Ramachandra and Oil Kumar.
The Brutal End of Kotwal Ramachandra
Kotwal Ramachandra operated from Kodandarampura / Srirampura areas and covered North Bengaluru. He hailed from Shimoga and worked in Indian Navy for a while. A well-built 6-feet tall demon backed by politicians used knives and sickles to silence his opposition. Kotwal Ramachandra was so inhumane that he became the reason for the attacks on innocents in public. There is evidence of Ramachandra threatening Ramakrishna Hegde, then Chief Minister of Karnataka which forced him to exit Bengaluru and look for a shelter in the Tumkur farmhouse.
Meanwhile, M.P Jayaraj who was looking to regain his power planned a plot to kill Kotwal Ramachandra. With the help of Agni Sridhar, Bachchan, and VaradhaRaja Nayak, on March 22, 1986, Ramachandra was barbarously killed in the farmhouse near Allasandra, Tumkur. It is said that Kotwal’s bones were disposed of in the Bay of Bengal to mislead the investigation process.
Open Blast of Police in the City
Later on, M.P Jayaraj regained his throne and started a newspaper called ‘Ghareebi Hatao’ which targeted Janata Dal politicians and police. He continued to participate in several illegal activities and openly blasted police in Rasheed Murder Case. However, after escaping from several attacks by police and his rivals, he was shot dead near Siddapura by a man called Mutthappa Rai.
Bangalore Underworld in the 1980s
After Kotwal Ramachandra and JayaRaj, young bloods like Mutthappa Rai, Agni Sridhar, Jedarahalli Rajendra, and Sri Rampura kitty became the face of Bangalore underworld. They ruled Maha Lakshmi layout, Kamakshipalya, Basaveshwara Nagar, Vijayanagar, Hanumantha Nagar, Subramanyapura, Giri Nagar, JP Nagar, and Madiwala. Mutthappa Rai after assassinating JayaRaj called himself as the ‘New Don of Bangalore.’
They continued to involve in live band establishments, oil adulteration, collecting haftas which eventually broke the law and order in the city. It was then Police attacked with all power to eradicate the beans of Bangalore underworld. Most Gangsters died either in the hands of their rivals or to the bullets of Policemen. It was a constant blood-shed and hot police chases which silenced mafioso in the city.
In the run, Mutthappa Rai, Agni Sridhar, and Pushpa Kalapathar turned out to be self-proclaimed social activists. Mutthappa Rai started a non-profit organization called ‘Jai Karnataka’ while Agni Sridhar went on to pen a memoir.
Dons of Shivaji Nagar
During the same 1980s, Underworld spread its roots in Shivaji Nagar, Tannery Road, Ilyas Nagar, and JJ Nagar. One name that made the sound when it comes to Muslim Underworld in the city means, it is Koli Fayaz alias Murgi Fayaz. The story repeats and Fayaz get killed by a rival gang led by Ishtiaq / Rizwan. Later on, Tanveer came on who then made peace with Ishtiaq’s men.
Contract Killer of Bangalore Underworld
In the same period, Bangalore Underworld witnessed another rowdy-sheeter who was the deadliest of all. Silent Suni was a serial contract killer who made a name in the late 90s and early 2000s.
DCP Umesh recalls, “ In the late 1990s and early 2000s, there were multiple deaths of rowdy-sheeters. The police were clueless about Silent Suni. It was only in 2005, when Bekkina Kannu Rajendra was murdered, that Silent Suni’s name came to be known.”
Hit-Man of Bangalore Underworld
He was considered as the Hit-man of Bangalore underworld and all his plots were carefully planned to leave no clue behind. He always used goons in his crime plans so that they are implicated in his crime. In 2005, Silent Suni killed Bekkina Kannu Rajendra at Chalukya Hotel and went behind the bars for 10 years. However, unlike JayaRaj, Suni’s franchise just got stronger and stronger.
While Suni was in Jail, his men killed gangsters like Lambu Nati, Ravi, and Bharath Raj at Shanti Nagar Hotel in Malleswaram and spread the fear in the society. Later on, Sunil comes out and joins Agni Sridhar’s pro-Kannada organization.
This way, from Mune Gowda to Silent Suni, the country saw its worst and these chapters of the underworld will remain as a black dot in the history of Bengaluru.
Information Credits: Suvarna News, My Days in the Underworld (Agni Sridhar), Quint and The Hindu.
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