February 14, 2021 2:53:48 am
The Bengaluru Police have named Vicky Shetty — an underworld operative associated with gangs in Mumbai — as the main accused in their chargesheet in the shooting down of a bar owner in the central business district of the city on the night of October 15 last year.
Vicky Shetty alias Balakrishna Shetty alias Vijay Shetty alias Vishwanath Shetty, a former member of the Chhota Rajan gang who is believed to be living abroad and has a criminal record in the coastal city of Mangalore as well, was named on the basis of statements provided by four of his alleged killers — arrested hours after the murder — and claims made by Shetty himself. Two others were arrested for allegedly providing logistical support for the killing.
A non-bailable warrant has now been issued for the arrest of Vicky Shetty, who is missing, while the six other accused are in jail.
In phone calls to news channels in Bengaluru and Mangaluru, a caller identifying himself as Vicky Shetty had claimed that bar owner Manish Shetty’s murder was an act of revenge as he allegedly orchestrated the murder of Kishan Hegde, a gangster in coastal Udupi, police said.
Hegde, who had links to Hindutva groups, was hacked to death in broad daylight by a group of men on September 24, 2020. Police had arrested associates of Manoj Kodikere, an activist of the Hindu Jagaran Vedike with criminal antecedents, for the murder.
“It was an act of revenge for the murder of Kishan Hegde in Hiriadka. He (Manish Shetty) provided all the support for the murder. He was the boss of Kodikere Manoj (suspect in Hegde murder). It is under his influence that the murder was carried out. This is why we attacked Manish Shetty,” the caller who identified himself as Vicky Shetty told the DaijiworldTV channel in Mangalore.
The killing in Udupi was suspected to be linked to a tussle between two rival gangs for control over economic activities in the Mangaluru port region.
The subsequent killing in Bengaluru was seen as a possible attempt by new operatives to gain control of the underworld in Bengaluru and Mangaluru following the death of gangster Muthappa Rai and the extradition of gangster Ravi Pujari from Senegal.
Manish Shetty alias Sarvamitra Shetty (41), an associate of gangster Ravi Pujari with a history of involvement in robbery and extortion, had served a 10-year jail term for a 2006 bank robbery in the Belagavi region. In prison, he is alleged to have been involved in coordinating extortion activities of the Ravi Pujari gang with associates such as Kali Yogish and Nikhil Shetty, who was extradited from Dubai in 2015 before his death. After his release from prison, Manish Shetty provided muscle for a fraudulent real estate firm and was also an informant, police sources said.
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