Fugitive underworld don Bannanje Raja, who is set to be extradited by the Moroccan government by next week, was booked under the Karnataka Control of Organised Crime Act (KCOCA) in the murder of R N Nayak, a businessman, at Ankola in Uttara Kannada district in 2013.
In 2012, he contacted Nayak and demanded hafta (protection money). Nayak refused to yield to his threat and approached the Ankola police and lodged a complaint against Raja. The police posted a gunman to provide him security. On December 21, 2013, while Nayak was coming out of his office, four contract killers opened fire at him, killing him on the spot. The gunman shot at one of the assailants, who was also killed on the spot, while the rest of the gang managed to flee.
In 2014, Raja also threatened an areca nut businessman based in Shivamogga for hafta. The businessman filed a complaint against Raja at the Vinobha Nagar police station in Shivamogga. Raja sent his gang members to kill the businessman, but the killers were nabbed in the nick of time. Raja is also wanted in crimes reported in Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and other places.
Raja was born in Malpe in Udupi district. As soon as he completed his graduation, he formed his own gang and indulged in criminal activities. He was arrested in connection with the rape of a student in Udupi. In 1991, he and his associates murdered Kushal Shetty and a case was registered against him at the Brahmavara police station.
He shifted base to Bengaluru and soon acquired notoriety. He also formed BR (Bannanje Raja) Company through which he carried out his underworld activities. In 1995, he was arrested by the JJ Nagar police under the Arms Act. In 2009, he was arrested in Dubai but the extradition was not successful.
Udupi SP in team
The Udupi Superintendent of Police, K Annamalai, will be part of the team that would leave for Morocco to bring back Raja. The SP told Deccan Herald that he would leave Udupi on Saturday evening to join the six-member team led by ADGP Prathap Reddy.