Five persons and one relative of former underworld don Muthappa Rai, who passed away on Friday, were arrested by Karnataka Police for giving a gun salute during the final rites in Bidadi in Ramanagara district. The accused had fired five rounds in the air, Bidadi police said.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, Bidadi police sub-inspector C. Bhaskar said, “A case under the Arms Act has been registered against six persons for firing in the air during the final rites of Muthappa Rai. A probe is underway.”
The accused, who were Rai’s gunmen, are identified as Monappa, Girish, Lakwer Singh, Chatar Singh, Ranjith Rai and Sunil. Besides this, Rai’s relative Prakash Rai was also arrested.
The police have seized all the double barrel guns which were used to fire in the air.
In October 2018, the Central Crime Branch (CCB) had issued a notice to Rai after he held an Ayudha puja for his weapons. The photos and videos of the event had gone viral.
Later, Rai appeared before the cops and explained that the weapons belonged to his security men who he had hired for personal protection.
Who was Muthappa Rai?
Rai is a native of Puttur in coastal Dakshina Kannada district and was born in a Tulu-speaking Bunt family. He started his career as a bank employee in Bengaluru and later opened a dance club and restaurant along with wife Rekha. In 1994, he was shot five times by a gunman dressed like a lawyer at a Bengaluru court but survived.
In 2002, Rai was deported from UAE by the Dubai Police and subsequently interrogated by the Central Bureau of Investigation, Research and Analysis Wing, the Intelligence Bureau and the Karnataka Police for his alleged associations with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
Years later, Rai founded a non-profit organisation ‘Jaya Karnataka’. He then became a realtor and entrepreneur.
The former gangster was also an accused in the murder case of Subbaraju, a builder, at Vyalikaval in Bengaluru in 2001. He was later acquitted by a court.
Besides being a businessman, Rai also acted in two films — Tulu movie ‘Kanchilda Baale’ in 2011 and a Kannada film ‘Katari Veera Surasundarangi’ in 2012 produced by BJP leader Munirathna. In 2016, filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma wanted to make a film titled “Rai”, based on the life of the former underworld don. Verma had also roped in actor Vivek Oberoi for the lead role but the movie is yet to be released due to production delays.
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