A notorious Maoist renegade wanted in a string of cases, including the murder of an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer in 1993, Nayeemuddin alias Nayeem (45), was gunned down on August 8 by police in an exchange of fire outside Shadnagar town in Mahabubnagar district of Telangana.
Nayeem was a wanted for many years in connection with a number of cases of murder, killings for gain, extortion and kidnapping.
According to a The Times of India report, Nayeem "knew too many secrets about some politicians" and "was wanted by central and state agencies because he 'knew' too much about the powers that be".
Rise of a dreaded gangster
Chronicling Nayeem's rise as a gangster, the TOI report states that he began as an activist of the Radical Students Union after being inspired by Maoist ideology in Telangana in the 1980's. He was then a student at the Degree College in Bhongir town of Nalgonda district. A short while later, he joined the People's War Group (PWG).
"The Tamil Nadu Q Branch had tried to nab him after they found that he had supervised an organised arms procurement network and was running seven foundries including his own Bharath Fine Engineering to make spare parts to assemble rockets and launchers," Deccan Chronicle reported.
He was later expelled from PWG for his involvement in extortion and “settlement” cases, reported TOI.
The report adds that a controversial IPS officer supposedly took Nayeem "under his wings allegedly for land-grabbing activity on the outskirts of Hyderabad".
Nayeem was said to have operated a gang of hit-men even when he was in prison.
A police source told TOI, "In May 1999, Nayeem's gang killed balladeer Belli Lalitha at Bhongir, chopped her body into 17 pieces and threw them in front of her sympathisers houses to send a stern warning to their enemies."
Role as police informer
Nayeem was allegedly used by police to kill Maoists and their sympathisers.
Nayeem, in turn, used his alleged links with some politicians and police officers for his criminal activities for nearly two decades.
Former Andhra Pradesh police chief V Dinesh Reddy recently said that it is common for police to use surrendered Maoists as their informers. He, however, clarified that he never met Nayeem as policemen of lower ranks handle such informers, not a DGP-level officer.
In his alleged role as a covert operative for police, Nayeem also eliminated several top Maoists and their sympathisers, sources said.
Sohrabuddin Sheikh "encounter" case
Nayeem, who hailed from Nalgonda in Telangana, was wanted by the CBI in connection with the alleged fake encounter case of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Kauser Bi in Gujarat. He was suspected of helping police catch Sohrabuddin and Kauser.
On November 23, 2005, Sohrabuddin and his wife Kauser were travelling from Hyderabad to Sangli, Maharashtra, in a bus when the Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) of the Gujarat police reportedly stopped the vehicle and took the duo away.
Nayeem was referred to as Kalimuddin by the Gujarat police and was a witness in the 2005 case.
Kalimuddin, according to the police, was also present in the bus at the time.
The Indian Express reported that the Gujarat police claimed that Kalimuddin "was a police informer and an accused in the 2003 murder of former Gujarat minister Haren Pandya".
However, this claim was slammed by the CBI which was later handling the case. The CBI said that as per their investigation, the third person was not Kalimuddin, but Tulsiram Prajapati, Sohrabuddin's partner in crime. Tulsiram was also killed in an encounter a year later.
Nayeem was allegedly involved in over 130 criminal cases, including 20 murder cases.
He was an accused in the murder of civil rights activists Purshottam and Niranjan, folk singer Belli Lalitha, surrendered Maoists Sambasivudu and Ramulu, gangster Pattola Goverdhan Reddy and others.
The gangster had escaped from police custody 11 times.
He was allegedly threatening legislators and leaders of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), according to sources.
Cross dressing and using human shields
Nayeem reportedly wanted to undergo plastic surgery to change his facial features so that he could escape the clutches of police.
The New Indian Express reported that he would often dress up as a woman to deceive the police.
Nayeem also used children and women as human shields.
The Vanasthalipuram police, in its remand report, stated that Nayeem’s driver Nella Sridhar Goud "procured newborn babies and handed over to A-16 Tech Madhu (a member of Nayeem's gang) to give to A-1 Nayeem, who would use the babies as cover for avoiding police checking", DC reported.
The TNIE report adds that at least five children between the ages of 13 and 16 used to guard Nayeem and these children were trained in using AK-47 weapons.
Speaking about some of the gangsters illegal assets, the cops said that Nayeem had 20 houses in different locations.
(With agency inputs)