The city police have reopened several cases after confirming that many reformed rowdies are still actively indulging in illegal activities.
An official dossier prepared by the Bangalore South division police termed Asgar Ali alias Mahim, a rowdy-turned-film producer, as most wanted, following his alleged involvement in grabbing a piece of government-owned land. The four-acre plot, located in Madiwala, is now in the possession of the Karnataka State Reserve Police. The police had to engage in a prolonged legal battle since 2000 with one of Mahim's aides, before it could possess the land.
Police said they reopened several cases after getting confirmation on their illegal activities.
"The arrest of Diwan Ali in the murder of former ASP KS Thammaiah points to the fact that former rowdies are still indulging in criminal activities. Their movements were not under the police scanner for a long time, and we lost a fine officer," Ramesh Chandra, assistant commissioner of police (Jayanagar sub-division), lamented.
The dossier that the south division police had prepared said Mahim's activities were confined to areas under Siddapur, Tilaknagar, Shivajinagar, Jayanagar, Mico Layout, Wilson Garden and Kalasipalya police station limits. In some of the cases filed against him, Mahim allegedly forced the complainants to withdraw the case during trial.
"Reaching a compromise during the trial was his preferred modus operandi. He even got acquitted in a few cases by reaching a compromise. In one case, it was found that he sent an impersonator to appear as the complainant," Chandra said.
Another senior officer said Mahim used to keep inspectors of various police stations in good humour. "We have issued strict instructions to the police station-level officers to keep an eye on Mahim and expedite cases against him. A warning is also given to police officers to get cracking on cases in which he is the accused," the officer added.
Mahim, an ardent fan of actor Anil Kapoor, sports a stubble like his hero. He has produced a Kannada movie, Nanda, with Shivarajkumar in the lead. He has acted in this movie, and the character he had portrayed claims to have murdered 31 persons. Police believe this dialogue was meant for his opponents. A drop-out from BEC College in Jayanagar, Mahim initially organised a student brigade to support his activities. However, his associates soon found him untrustworthy, and left him.
Mahim claims to be a social worker. Before he took shelter under a sitting MLA from the JD-S, he was close to a former Congress minister.
Prominent former rowdies
Muthappa Rai: He was considered as the most notorious of rowdies to walk the streets of Bangalore. After being accused of involving himself in two murder cases and several criminal acts, he was acquitted by the High Court. He then turned into a social worker, and now runs an outfit called Jaya Karnataka.
Sridhar: Popularly known as Agni Sridhar, this ex-rowdy successfully runs a weekly tabloid and claims to be an intellectual. He has also turned to film production and his autobiographical movie Aa Dinagalu, ran to packed houses last year.
Tanveer: He was considered a terror among rowdies as well as commonfolk. However, he was acquitted in all the cases against him, including murder. Today, he runs a small business in Shivajinagar - the same area that he once used to terrorise.
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