Police suspect role of friend-turned-foe

Nail-biting: Anxious followers of Deewana Ali wait outside the hospital. DH photoAli, citing threat to his life, had sought police protection a few months ago. The police and the court turned down his requests to restore the security cover. The family members of Ali cited the lack of security as a ‘gap’ which the assailants took advantage of.

Joint Commissioner (Crime) Alok Kumar said they suspect Ali’s one-time friend-turned-foe Mahim, to have hired the gang to kill the corporator. Sources said that the two were at loggerheads over several issues including spoils. Sunday’s killing was the result of political ambitions Mahim nurtured. Police said, Mahim, who operates in Siddapur, Tilaknagar, Jayanagar, Mico Layout and Wilson Garden areas, had unsuccessfully contested the March 2010 BBMP polls.

Foray into crime world

Ali forayed into the crime world as a small-time rowdy working for Tanveer. He charted out his own course after the death of Koli Fayaz and Chappel Hameed and made it big as a member of the sand mafia. For years, it was Ali’s gang which operated in and around BTM Layout. About two years ago, he attacked rowdy Daulat, also from Yarabnagar, near the City court.

Last Friday, Ali planned to eliminate Mahim at a hotel near Minerva Circle, but Mahim acted swiftly and escaped the bid. Police suspect that Mahim, who has tried his hands in film-making, hired some killers.

Shops and commercial establishments downed their shutters minutes after news of Ali’s death spread. People stayed put in their homes and few wanted to share details of the gory murder that many watched happen in broad daylight. Platoons of Reserve Police force were deployed in and around Yarabnagar to avert any law and order problem.

How Deewana became Diwan

Mohammed Ali was rechristened as Deewana Ali by his mentor Tanveer. However, over a time Ali earned fame, that virtually changed his name to Diwan Ali.

However, even to this day in police records at the Banashankari police station where he was a rowdy sheeter, his name is recorded as Mohammed Ali alias Deewana Ali.

On January 8, 1996, he was a ‘rowdy sheeter’ in police records and from then on, he was in and out of court and jail.

Despite getting bail, Ali did not dare to step out of jail as he feared for his life from Mahim and other gang members. He managed to set the base to contest for the BBMP elections.

He also sought police protection and contested the polls on a JD(S) ticket from Banshankari temple ward 180. He played the minority card and won the elections by 2,031 votes by defeating his nearest rival from BJP (Rajanna MC).

Mahim, apart from trying to contest the BBMP elections, made all attempts to wipe out his rowdy tag. Mahim also hit the silver screen and acted in a Kannada movie ‘Nanda’ starring Shivaraj Kumar where he played the second hero. Insiders confirmed that the story was based on Mahim's life.

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