Police gun down suspected serial rapist, rowdy-sheeter

Shankar targeted good-looking working women living alone in City

Shankar alias Chandru (30) is said to be a serial rapist who hailed from Tamil Nadu. He was part of a seven-member gang.Rowdy-sheeter Venkatswamy alias Pedda Gunda (28) of Kamala Nagar is wanted by police in connection with a host of cases involving serious crimes.

Shankar figured on the hit list of the city police, after the recent kidnapping and rape of a north Indian girl in Electronics City. The cops zeroed in on one of the gang members, Somashekar and based on his information, unravelled the gang’s doings.

The shocked police went on a hunt for the main accused Rajanikanth alias Chandru, brother of Shankar. The two brothers used to identify good-looking women living alone, especially techies and working girls and kidnap them. Then, they used to drive to remote areas near Kelamangalam, Denkanikottai, Tamil Nadu and take turns raping the girls.

A senior officer, who interrogated the gang member was shocked. “They are sheer psychopaths. They don’t remember as to how many girls they have kidnapped and raped. Since most of the cases weren’t reported, it became a habit and they went on and on. Kidnapping and raping became their favourite pastime,” he said.

The CCB formed a team led by police inspectors Balegowda and K C Ashokan. The duo along with their staff spotted Shankar riding pillion on a motorcycle near Hegde Nagar-Bagalur junction.

Immediately, the police team followed the two-wheeler and signalled the rider to stop. The bikers ignored the order and sped away towards Reva Engineering College, Bagalur Road.

The police team overtook the vehicle and blocked the bike. Sub-inspector Sirajuddin and police constable Vijay Kumar jumped out of the moving jeep and tried to nab Shankar, who allegedly took out a machete and swung it at the policemen. Sirajuddin got injured on his left hand while Vijay Kumar dropped his lathi.

In an act of defence and to protect the police, the sub-inspector took out his service revolver and pumped in three bullets into Shankar.

A bullet pierced Shankar's chest, another his shoulder and the third his forehead. He died on the way to the hospital. The rider managed to escape unhurt.

A case has been registered at Bagalur police station and additional district magistrate is conducting magisterial enquiry into the incident.

10 cases against rapist

More than 10 criminal cases of dacoity, robbery and kidnapping were pending against Shankar.

He was a known criminal both in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. He was married with children, but his wife deserted him after learning about his criminal activities.

Pedda Gunda encounter

With more than a dozen cases against him, Pedda Gunda invited trouble. Though his family members claim that he was acquitted in a majority of the cases and wanted to come clean, he was back into the criminal world.

The CCB’s organised crime wing were after Pedda Gunda for a long time. After he came out on bail, he continued his activities, creating ripples both in the underworld and the police department.

On Saturday past midnight, the cops received information that Gunda would be meeting his associates in Basaveshwarnagar, Kamakshipalya and Mahalaxmi Layout areas. Three teams were formed to arrest him.

ACP S Y Hadimani and his team saw some suspiciously moving two-wheeler. The officer ordered police inspector Lokesh and head constable Krishna to stop the vehicle. On seeing the cops, the rider tried to escape, but skidded into a grassy knoll. The man riding pillion was grounded while the rider managed to escape.

The officer identified the pillion rider as Gunda and ordered him to surrender. But Gunda took out a pistol and fired at the cops, injuring constable Krishna on his left hand.

Inspector Lokesh took out his gun and fired twice. Injured Gunda succumbed to injuries and was shifted to the Victoria hospital.

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