One of the City’s dreaded underworld gangsters, Vijay Kumar alias Kavala, 43, was brutally hacked to death by his one-time right-hand man and the latter’s five henchmen on Karnataka’s border with Tamil Nadu on Tuesday night, the police said.
Kavala, once a member of Deadly Soma’s gang who later renounced the underworld, was driving alone to Tirunelveli in the neighbouring state when Thirukumar alias Kutty, 42, and his henchmen accosted him near Arasampatti checkpost in Hosur. After becoming a reformed man, the gangster had moved to Tirunelveli where he started a business. He married a woman and had a child, who is five months old, the police said.
Hours before the murder, Kavala had attended the audio release function of an upcoming Kannada film, ‘One Way’, which is being produced by his friends. At the event, he shared the dais with the chairman of Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce H D Gangaraju, Basavanagudi MLA L A Ravi Subramanya and IGP (Prisons) V S Raj.
According to the police, Kavala left Bangalore around 11.30 pm, escorted by his two private security vehicles. As per the schedule, the security vehicles would escort him till the border before returning to Bangalore. From thereon, Kavala would drive to Tirunelveli, all alone. Kutty and his associates were apparently aware of the schedule and saw it as the “golden opportunity” to attack Kavala, police said.
As soon as Kavala reached the checkpost, the six-member gang waylaid him, brandishing lethal weapons. He immediately realised a threat to his life, jumped out of the car and started running away. But the assailants chased him down and pinned him to the ground.
They threw chilli powder on his face, came at him from all sides and attacked him repeatedly with sharp-edged weapons. The attack was so brutal that Kavala died instantly, said Sipcot police inspector, K Shankar.
After receiving an alert, the local police rushed to the spot and contacted Madiwala police to establish Kavala’s identity. The gangster had done his schooling near the Madiwala police station.
Police said Kavala was wanted for a staggering 32 crimes, including five murders, eight abductions and seven attempts to murder. He had surrendered before the Anekal court a year ago and promised to renounce his rowdy activities. In the last four years, he regularly reported to the Madiwala police station.
After moving to Tirunelveli, he rarely visited Bangalore. He came to be called Kavala in police and rowdy circles for his binge eating habit.