The Godfather of Bangalore
Bangalore?s Mobster Turned Mogul: Muthappa Rai is an Indian real estate power broker. He used to be a mafia don, wanted for murder by the Indian police. Wired's Scott Carney talks to the Bangalore land baron. Listen to the video which is 10 Minute long.
Underworld lurks under dim city lights
BANGALORE: IT City is not just about software, malls, brat packs and bright city lights. In the dimmer gallis and congested market areas, lives another world, armed, dangerous but silent. It has always been there, in those narrow lanes, where battles are fought for supremacy over turf.
As the city sped on to the fast lane, the character of the underworld changed too. Gangsters still brandish swords and longs at each other, and fiercely guard their business of `real estate'. Many have graduated to firearms, though fortunately, the gun culture is not prevalent. Neither do they trouble ordinary people. In their world, momentary glory and inevitable death are hard realities. But what's missing is a don who controls all of Bangalore.
These ganglords live by the sword and suspicion -- there are bloody wars, hot chases by the police, they are in and out of jails, and their job is to plot and make money. But once they are sucked into the system, it is tough to get out. Individuals may come and go, but the system lives on.
Gangsters no longer survive on hafta from wine shops, bars, brothels and live band joints. Their money-spinners are real estate and disputed properties. Today, there are over 1,800 rowdy-sheeters in the city, but only 150-200 are really active.
Traditionally, Bangalore West Zone leads the number of rowdy-sheeters, followed by South Zone. There are also some Muslim dons. Each guards his tract, and they neither mingle nor cross swords with each other.
Rowdy-infected areas run like a chain: including Mahalakshmi Layout, Basaveshwarnagar, Kamakshipalya, Vijayanagar, Girinagar, Hanumanthnagar, Subrahmanyapura, J P Nagar, Madiwala. Most rowdy-related murders and kidnappings take place in these areas.
Unlike earlier, where rowdies had only machetes and swords, these people have country-made firearms and sophisticated sten guns.
Mahalakshmi Layout: Captain Raja
Kamakshipalya: Pedda Gunda, Johney and Koti Rama
Vijayanagar: Gopaliah and Marenahalli Jagga
Hanumanthanagar: Bruce Lee Seena
Subrahmanyapura: Linga, Arasiah, Aluminium Babu, Shivakali
JP Nagar: Sanjeeva
Madiwala: Kavala, Long Shiva
Magadi Road: Kadabagere Rama
Gayatrinagar: Sunil, Rohit alias Onte, Break Jagga, Lokesh alias Mulama
Muslim underworld: Tanvir, Ishtiyak, Sajjad, Athush, Brigade Aza, Tarakari Kaleel, Diwan Ali, Arif Altaf, Imran, Reebok Naseem
Bengalooru?s underworld dates back to the late 1960s, when Kodigehalli Mune Gowda became the first underworld don. In the beginning he controlled all of Bangalore, and his basic revenue source was hafta from brothels and barrack shops. In the ?70s, Kotwal Ramachandra and Jayaraj entered the field. Wine shops, massage parlours, game parlours were added to the list. They had political affiliations.The scene changed in the 1980s and ?90s, when young turks entered the field like Muthappa Rai, Sridhar(Agni Shridhar), Boot House Kumar or Oil Kumar, Bekkina Kannu Rajendra, Srirampura Kitty, Jedarahalli Krishnappa, Pushpa, Kala Pathar and Ele Naga emerged.