Twenty-eight years ago, one of Bengaluru’s most notorious gangsters – Station Shekar – was tracked down and shot dead by a police team. This, reportedly, was the first police encounter the city witnessed.
Since then, the city has witnessed several encounters by the police, with numerous rowdy sheeters being killed. In fact, police chasing gangsters around the city had, in the 1990s and early 2000s, become so common, that some of the most notorious rowdy-sheeters including big-time dons were killed in police encounters.
According to reports, this year alone the Bengaluru City Police have been in 10 shootouts, involving several gangsters.
Here is a look back at some of the most shocking encounters of gangsters in the city:
In 1989, Station Shekar and his father had brutally hacked to death a rival gangster, Rajendra, outside the Bengaluru City Railway Station in full public view. After butchering Rajendra, the duo had washed the bloodstained machetes in the fountain located outside the Railway Station, hailed an auto rickshaw and fled the spot.
The police had begun a manhunt for the duo, while Shekar and his aides, on the day of the murder, had clashed with Shivajinagar's Chhota Pailwan's gang at Hotel Savera, a live-band joint which used to be located on Mahatma Gandhi Road.
“Shekar and his gang member had hurled bombs at Pailwan’s men and attacked a few of them with machetes. In a single day, he had wreaked havoc in the city,” a seasoned police officer said.
A special team including sub-inspectors BB Ashok Kumar, Lava Kumar, ND Mulla and other officers was formed to nab Shekar.
Early morning on July 1, 1989, the team tracked Shekar to his Kammanahalli residence. Shekar stepped out of his home and allegedly fired at the police. He died when the police returned fire.
A high-speed movie-style chase by a team of six police inspectors resulted in the encounter of this notorious gangster. “Soma alias Deadly Soma entered the underworld at a very young age. He was known for his dramatic killings. We had chased him around the city thrice before and he always managed to escape but he died in the encounter on July 8, 1994,” said retired police officer Abdul Azim, who was a part of the team formed to nab Soma.The policemen, dressed in civilian clothes, had followed an auto in which Soma and two of his aides were travelling. On Old Madras Road, the policemen, who were in an ambassador car, rammed into the autorickshaw.
“When the auto toppled over, the three gangsters fell out of the auto. Sangram Singh and I chased Soma till the Ulsoor cemetery. He tried to stab one of us with a dagger when we closed in on him. That’s when I shot him dead,” Abdul Azim recalls.
On the night of May 8, 2005, serial rapist and thief, Syed Narsu was shot dead in a police encounter in Bengaluru’s Anekal. Narsu was feared by live band artists as he was accused of raping over 20 women artists. His gang was also suspected to be involved in a spate of robberies of BPO staff at night.
In 2005, robberies targeting techies and BPO staff had increased in the city and the police had suspected the involvement of Narsu and his gang. However, Narsu had managed to escape the clutches of the police.
In 2005, the team investigating the robberies tracked down Narsu to his rented home in Anekal. The police had ordered him to surrender. In an attempt to escape, Narsu and his gang members attacked the police with machetes.
Narsu also reportedly managed to hurt Inspector Ratnakar Shetty on his neck. The police then opened fire and shot Narsu to death.
In the nondescript village in North Bengaluru’s Nelamangala area, the Battanagere cousins had unleashed terror. One of the most notorious gangsters in the city, Battanagere Srinivas alias Battanagere Seena was feared by his rivals, including several political leaders of the time
Seena was involved in the murder of four of his rivals including that of JD(S) leader BML Krishnappa right in the middle of National Highway 4 in July 2012.
Seena, who was wooed by several politicians in the city, was shot dead in a police encounter on September 8, 2012
Known as a career criminal, Seena had disappeared from public view after the murder of Krishnappa. He was also suspected in six extortion cases, several attempted murders and robberies in order to control the land mafia in Nelamangala area.
A special team of Bengaluru district police, which was in search of Seena, tracked him down to a house in Herohalli’s Vinayaka Layout. Seena was said to have taken shelter with his associates there.
According to the police, the gang members shot at the team of officers to which the police returned fire. Seena sustained gunshot wounds near his chest and stomach area and one to his head while trying to escape from the house. He dropped dead a few metres away from the house.
This was a criminal, the police had only heard of as one of the city’s biggest extortionists. They did not know his name or even have a photograph of Johnson. The police barely had any information about him in the file dedicated to Johnson.
This changed in 2006, when he was identified in two consecutive murders. On February 2, 2006, Johnson and his associates had tried to murder rowdy sheeter Pedda Gunda, at Mahalakshmi Layout. They ended up killing his associate Faizal. On February 16, Johnson’s aides barged into Hosmat Hospital and murdered their rival Palani, who was there for treatment.
After a high-speed chase from Bengaluru’s Outer Ring Road to Vyalikaval, he was gunned down after he reportedly shot at the police.