Gangsters get a 'real' makeover
By R Venkatesh, DH News Service, Bangalore:
Of late the 'real estate' mafia has been the cause of many deaths. A majority of the recent gang wars in the City are nothing but a spillover of the infighting or an attempt to endorse each individual/gang leader's supremacy in their respective territory.
Wednesday's gang war near Kogilu, where an eight-member armed gang fatally attacked Jaga and grievously wounded his associate Raju, is also on similar lines.
Earlier, the underworld/rowdies were restricted to their own areas and were operating through their henchmen. But the boom in the real estate saw a major change not only in their lifestyle but also underworld (real estate mafia) operations. They never worked under any marked jurisdiction and were operating on certain terms and conditions. They turned professional to an extent. Outsourcing became the buzzword –– collecting papers (mother deeds, khatas, pahani etc), forcibly occupying land, constructing compound and vacating the owner/tenant were done through hired goons. Not to mention, kidnapping for ransom, threatening, creating fake documents and forcibly getting the property registered became part of the business.
Earlier, revenues of the small timers to major rowdies depended on petty businesses like selling tickets in black market, wine shops, bar and restaurants, running matka, pushing ganja, supporting recreational clubs (cards, carrom etc).
In the early 1970's, the so-called rowdies switched over to robbery, kidnapping, brewing illict liquor and collecting haftas. After the D-Company shifted its base to the Gulf and appointed Jogeshwari's (Bombay) Sharath Shetty to take control of the gold business in India, many from Mangalore like Dilip Nayak and others took over the mantle.
The real meaning to the word 'mafia' gained momentum during the early 80's after Annachi from Madras landed in Bangalore city, roped in Sampath and started an oil business. Then came Shiva Kumar alias Boot house Kumar alias Oil Kumar who dominated the scene for a few years. He spent hefty sums to maintain both police and local rowdies to carry on the trade.
It was from here that the city’s underworld got divided –– Jairaj and Kotwal who supported Oil Kumar fell apart. Each one started running for the other’s blood. The big names started eliminating one after the other.
By the early 90's -- some people term it as self-glorification days -- many rowdies rolled back their deeds and to an extent controlled the autorickshaw, sand, cement and steel businesses.
When once the real estate prices started looking up, rowdies plunged into the business, shifted gears and started a new life. Side by side, they also controlled pubs, live bands and massage parlours.
Not to mention, many underworld dons reformed themeselves and picked up properties in every corner of the city and multiplied their money. A few went on to become journalists, film producers, politicians and directors in companies.
To name a few - From Srirampuram Sakre, Kariya, Mulamma, Koli Fayaz, J D Krishnappa. Gayatri Nagar -- Sunil alias Onte Sunila, Harish, Market Vedi. Someshwara Nagar Mahim, Rizwan. Sampangiramnagar DD Praveen his brother Rajani, Peter Prasad, Tanveer, Altaf etc. Tony, Suri, Muniraju, Layout Manja, Mancha Manja alias Manu, Gelly Venkatesh, Mandya Krishna, Mudina Palya Narayana, Bekkinakannu Rajendra and many more were killed in real estate gang wars. Recently, Govandhana Murthy went to jail after pumping bullets into an actor’s body, for the same reason.