By C D Souza
The coastal town of Mangalore inhibited by intelligent and enterprising people has been in the news for all the bad reasons.
This is evident from the recent incidents of murders and attempts to murder in the city involving people having links with underworld dons. The attack on a city businessman Vijayendra Bhat last week by two motorcycle-borne youth is the latest incident which has once again blighted the serene and peaceful atmosphere of Mangalore.
From the infamous pub attack of 2009 followed by the home stay attack of 2012 when the pseudo moral police tried to Talibanize the city in the pretext of culture, Mangalore has attracted bad publicity at national and international levels.
In between there was the communal clash precipitated by the attack on places of worship and communal flare ups after incidents of catching of illegal transportation of cattle.
In the last few months there has been a spate of murders and attempts to murder in the city on those believed to be having underworld links. When underworld activities in Mumbai have come to a standstill it is unfortunate that underworld activities are creating havoc in this coastal belt.
The police who are investigating the attack on Vijayendra Bhat are suspecting that the rivalry between underworld operative Vikky Shetty and Ravi Poojary is the cause of the attack on 39 year old Vijayendra Bhat.
The police suspect it to be a gang rivalry as some media organizations received calls from a person who claimed himself to be Vikky Shetty owning responsibility soon after the sensational attack on Bhat. The caller also said to have stated that the attack on Bhat was in revenge for the killing of his henchman Bejai Raja in December last and he believed that Vijayendra Bhat had funded the killing of Bejai Raja.
It may be recalled that in April this year Prashanth, a young transport officer was shot and hacked to death in Valencia and Vikky Shetty had called media organizations owing responsibility for the murder. He had said that Prashanth was killed to avenge the murder of Bejai Raja.
Bejai Raja was the henchman of Vikky Shetty and it is believed that Ravi Poojary’s men were reportedly involved in the brutal killing of Bejai Raja. In fact Bejai Raja’s murder itself is in retaliation of his involvement in the murder of Pandu Pai, a close associate of Poojary who was done to death 2009.
Ravi Poojary’s gang had a serious setback recently when his aide Nikhil Prakash Shetty was nabbed by the city police with the help of Interpol police in Dubai. He was handed over the city police and brought here in June this year.
In 2001 another underworld don Bannanje Raja’s men were involved in the attempt to shoot Suresh Bhandary of Prithvi Developers near Kadri Park. The police had arrested seven members of the gang loyal to Bannanje Raja in this connection. Bannanje’s henchman Javed alias Ajai who was said to be behind the attack on Bhandary was later arrested in Uttar Pradesh by a special task force of that state.
The coastal districts of Mangalore and Udupi have been associated with the underworld links for long. Notorious underworld dons like Madur Isubu, Hemanth Poojary, Ravi Poojary and Bannanje Raja have been controlling the entire underworld activities of the district from the safe havens of foreign countries. But the gang rivalry among these dons for one-upmanship has spread chaos and fear among the people of these districts who fear for their safety.
The once quiet towns of Mangalore and Udupi are shaken by the dare-devil activities of these underworld pests. Mangaloreans lament that the once peaceful town soon resembles a chaotic city wherein people fear for their lives.
As Mangalorean businessman Harish Mahewshwari originally from Rajasthan but born and brought up in Mangalore says “the serene and peaceful atmosphere of Mangalore has made way for anarchy, confusion, suspicion, fear and distrust. Anything may happen to anyone at any time due to the activities of underworld goons”.
Many Mangaloreans share similar feelings of Harish and believe that police need to take concrete action to infuse confidence among people by cracking down on underworld activities.
(Posted on August 6, 2013 @ 10.20am)
The views expressed on the website are those of the Columnists/ Authors/Journalists / Correspondents and do not necessarily reflect the views of ENARADA.