A long-drawn-out war between two rowdy gangs in Bengaluru culminated in a bloody end on Thursday, with Lakshmana (42) — touted to be the city’s richest rowdy, worth more than Rs 600 crore — being hacked to death by rivals in broad daylight.
Out on bail two weeks ago, Lakshmana, who had over 25 criminal cases against him, was hacked to death by a five-member gang near the Iskcon Temple on the busy Chord Road in Mahalakshmi Layout of Western Bengaluru.
Returning home after meeting his friends, Lakshmana was behind the wheel as his driver had gone on leave. The rival gang, armed with lethal weapons, began chasing him from the Mysore Sandal Soap Factory. Lakshmana was waylaid around 12 noon on the busy stretch, according to the city police. The gang members threw chilli powder at him and dragged him out of the car before hacking him to death in front of onlookers.
The Mahalakshmi Layout police rushed to the spot and shifted Lakshmana to the nearby MS Ramaiah hospital where he was declared brought dead. Police suspect old rivalry behind the ghastly attack.
The incident was captured in a CCTV camera installed at an apartment located nearby.
Police have retrieved the footage and begun a manhunt by forming three teams.
A January raid by the city police on Lakshmana’s house had revealed incriminating documents and unaccounted cash, after which he was arrested. He was released on bail on February 22, according to police.
The rowdy brothers
Hailing from Huliyurdurga in Kunigal taluk of Tumakuru, twin brothers Rama and Lakshmana entered the Bengaluru crime scene way back in 1995 and soon shot to notoriety, prompting the police to open a history sheet in several police stations. The duo had more than 25 cases against them, relating to murder, attempt to murder, kidnap and others.
The brothers associated themselves with the local gangsters of Magadi Road and Kamakshipalya area and emerged big among underworld fugitives with land-grabbing activities. Sources revealed that Lakshmana, through his accomplices, identified landowners and purchased land at throwaway prices by threatening them. He would then sell the land to builders at a higher price.
In 2013, the sleuths from the Organised Crime Wing of the CCB had arrested his brother Rama after a raid on his house near Bangalore University. He was booked for attempting to murder rival gangster T C Ravi.
The duo kept shifting their hideouts from Kunigal, Kamakshipalya, making it difficult for the police to track them. The police suspect Lakshmana owned property worth Rs 600 crore.
A few years ago, Lakshmana had shifted base to Maddur in Mandya district to try his luck in politics and joined the BJP to contest the Assembly polls in 2018. Later, he joined the ruling JD(S) and worked for a JD(S) candidate.