Udupi: August 26, 2015: Sona Hemanth Hegde, wife of notorious underworld don Bannanje Raja, who is presently in police custody in Udupi may not come to India to visit her husband as indicated earlier, Intelligence sources said.
“The couple doesn’t seem to have a close relationship for whatever reasons. It could be because of their children, who live with their mother in Dubai and are studying, and also the fact that Bannanje has been on the run for so many years. He fled India in 1998 on a fake passport and lived in Dubai till 2009 from where he fled to Morocco and has allegedly been hiding with the monicker Kumar Hemanth Hegde from where he was making extortion calls and planning his nefarious activities. Sona’s travel pattern in the last 5 years shows that she hardly met her husband in Morocco once a year,” said the officer on condition of anonymity, adding that Sona reportedly didn’t approve of her husband’s criminal activities, which may also have led to a rift in their relationship.
“There are no criminal records against Sona. She runs a garment business in Dubai,” said the officer. Bannanje was on the radar of the Interpol, which had issued a Red Corner Notice (RCN) against him after he fled the country in 1998 on a fake passport.
There are 44 criminal cases against the gangster. R.N. Nayak murder in Ankola, which was reportedly a supari killing at the behest of Bannanje, was the last and bloodiest crime in the history sheeter’s dossier. Sona and Bannanje had met in P.P.C. College in Udupi in 1991 and had married against the wishes of her parents in 1996.
The couple have two children. Bannanje was extradited from Morocco and brought to Bengaluru under tight security by a police team on August 14. He was produced before the Karnataka Control of Organised Crime Act Court in Belgavi the same evening and immediately moved to Udupi for custodial interrogation in Ankola case, in which Superintendent of Police, Udupi K. Annamalai was appointed the investigation officer.