Mangaluru, Dec 10, 2017: ’Shoot-and-scoot’ crime of underworld gangs seems to be seen again in the city? On Dec 8, Friday, the target was the employee of a textiles shop on Car street. Police sources said it was a case of extortion and underworld fugitive and Ravi Poojary’s henchman Kali Yogesh was behind the incident.
Unidentified bike-borne men opened fire. An employee was injured and is being treated at private hospital. The motorcyclists fled the spot soon after they opened fire. "There is little doubt this is a case of extortion. Such shootouts are done to to scare their target. We have received some clue about the shooters," Hanumantharaya, DCP (Law and Order) said. He added that complainant — the owner of cloth store has not mentioned about any threats from the underworld.
Police said they have recovered CCTV footage from spot. The duo, who had come in the guise of customers, were conversing in Kannada and were wearing masks. Soon after the incident, some of the visual media houses in the city received a call from Kali Yogesh, claiming his role behind the crime.
According to reliable sources, Yogesh, hailing from Haleyangadi, entered into underworld three decades ago after several theft and extortion cases in Mangaluru. Sources claim he is holed up in Thailand or Mauritius and manages hafta (extortion) mafia in Mangaluru and Udupi, with most of his targets being real estate tycoons and others. "Extortion, which was happening behind closed doors, took a back seat after demonetisation as the real estate business crashed to a large extent. However, it has started improving after a year, so too the underworld activities connected to it," said a source. Police say Yogesh is under Interpol surveillance.
The previous case of underworld related shootout was seen in the city in 2014. Sharp-shooters had opened fire at Bharathi Builders in Bejai. The accused, hailing from Maharashtra, were later arrested. Last year, similar shootouts were reported in Puttur and Bantwal. There was a shootout at Rajdhani Jewellers in Puttur in October, 2016 and Kali Yogesh had claimed he was behind it.
Kudla’s nexus with U-world: Dakshina Kannada had a lot of local gangs and fights, the underworld activities started to hog the limelight in the 1990s when businessman Amar Alva was killed. The incident also brought forth underworld connections to the two coastal cities of Mumbai and Mangaluru. Alva’s alleged underworld connection with Bhai Thakur and Francis Coutinho came to the fore, giving a frightful dimension to gang wars. However, the full presence of the underworld in the city was felt in 1998.
It was Rashid Malbari, along with Mastan Chand Sheikh, who trapped and shot dead John and Prashanth at Baikampady under Panambur police limits. The other players such as Bannanje Raja, who is now cooling his feet in jail, too indulged in similar activities. Ravi Poojary’s men were also involved in several shootouts.