Notorious rowdy-sheeter Lakshmana, who has multiple cases of murder and land-grabbing registered across various police stations in Bengaluru, was hacked to death in broad daylight near ISKCON temple in the city.
Lakshmana, who was out on bail last week, was travelling in a Toyota Innova car when a gang of five men in a Scorpio waylaid him around 12.45 pm on Thursday. The Mahalakshmipuram Police, who are probing the incident, told TNM that the men in Scorpio fished out machetes and sickles from the trunk of their car, pulled Lakshmana out of the Innova and hacked him up. "The miscreants fled by the time we arrived. Lakshmana was rushed to MS Ramaiah hospital around 1.10 pm and was declared brought dead," the Mahalakshmipuram Police said.
Police suspect that Lakshmana's rivals may have committed the crime and are looking for the absconded killers.
The deadly twin brothers Rama and Lakshmana
In the mid 2000s, twin brothers Rama and Lakshmana, natives of Kunigal town in Tumakuru, began their criminal activities in Bengaluru and within a few years were on the Bengaluru Police's list of Class A criminals. The twins, who associated themselves with the local gangsters of Magadi Road and Kamakshipalya in Bengaluru, shot to infamy in the city's underworld due to their involvement in land grabbing activities.
According to a senior police officer, who has investigated several murder cases in which Lakshmana has been involved, the twin brothers shot to infamy after the brutal murder of a rival gangster Machcha Manja in 2005. Machcha Manja, who was returning home after distributing his wedding invitation was chased by Rama and Lakshmana along with 40 others and hacked to death in Bengaluru's Yelahanka. "At the time, another gangster associated with the twin brothers, Koti Rama, was also arrested in connection with the case. Lakshmana was out on bail, while Koti Rama remained in the Chitradurga prison as he was accused of contracting the murder of a local politician in Mysuru. Koti Rama and Lakshmana became rivals during this period simply because Lakshmana was not sending Koti Rama money while he was in prison," the senior police official said.
Once Lakshmana was out of prison in 2005, he allegedly affiliated himself with other gangsters, who were rivals of Koti Rama and another of his former associate Slum Bharata. "Koti Rama and Slum Bharat are currently being suspected of Lakshmana's murder," the senior police official said.
The brothers had affiliated themselves with local gangsters in the area and became the point-men for big time dons to hire them to extort and grab land from people across Bengaluru.
"These guys have been involved in grabbing land since the late 1990s. They kept shifting their loyalties to various dons in the city and they were also encouraged by their family members in Kunigal to get involved in the city's underworld. They were known for blackmailing people into selling them the land. The brothers would threaten people, take away their original property documents and force the victims to sign the sale deed, which they drafted to suit their needs. They have several murder cases registered against them across police stations in the city," a retired police officer, who was once with the Central Crime Branch's anti-rowdy squad told TNM.
In 2013, the CCB's Organised Crime Wing arrested Lakshmana's brother Rama after they raided the Jnanabharathi campus. Rama was arrested for the attempted murder of his rival gangster TC Ravi. The twins kept shifting bases from Kunigal to Kamakshipalya, making it difficult for the police to arrest them.
Last year, the police arrested notorious land shark Mirle Varadaraj and booked him for illegally grabbing land worth Rs 500 crore. Upon his arrest in December last year, the police learnt that gangster Lakshmana was the enforcer. "When Mirle Varadaraj wanted to grab land, it was Lakshmana who would do all the dirty work. Lakshmana would approach parties interested in selling properties by posing as a real estate agent. He would take the original documents from the victims and never return it. He would then threaten them and get the properties transferred to Mirle's name. If a landowner decided to go ahead with any kind of construction, Lakshmana would bring his henchmen and demolish the structures. He would also resort to brutal assault to threaten the victims," a police officer said.
In December 2018, the police arrested Lakshmana after a family from Jagajyothi Layout in Bengaluru complained to the police that Lakshmana had illegally occupied their house for two years and was refusing to vacate. He was released on bail only a week ago.
"Lakshmana has been a rowdy-sheeter for two decades now. He had also affiliated himself to a few political leaders recently. These rowdy sheeters come in and out of prison. Many of them hatch conspiracies to commit murders, thefts and abductions while they are in prison. Rivalries between rowdies are common. They convert their plans into action once they come out of jail either on bail or on parole," the police official said.