This man’s political ‘ride’ came to an end overnight.
Rowdy-sheeter Azham alias ‘Brigade’ Azham rode with Home Minister K J George, Information Minister Roshan Baig and Bangalore Central Congress candidate Arshad Rizwan atop a van during a campaign rally on Tuesday night.
On Wednesday morning, Bangalore East division police had him behind bars.
According to city police, though Azham faces numerous cases, all at various stages of trial, he was not wanted in any fresh case.
However, police say it is not known how and at whose behest Azham got on to the campaign vehicle.
“He was arrested under the Goonda Act in 2011 and was imprisoned for a year. We have arrested him under Section 110 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and he was produced before the tahsildar”, DCP (East) Dr P S Harsha said.
Home Minister K J George had told reporters on Tuesday that it is not possible to make out who are all taking part in the campaign.
“If he is a history-sheeter, police have to take action against him. I have already asked senior police officers to act in this regard,” he said.
Pulakeshi Nagar (Fraser Town) police say Azham is still a history-sheeter and the Bharathinagar police too have been keeping a watch on him.
In view of the elections, East division police have made 526 preventive arrests in the last 15 days under various sections of CrPC. Interestingly, Azham was arrested only after he was spotted with the ministers.
Political Clout to avoid police action
According to retired ACP B B Ashok Kumar, it has been a practice among rowdies to get associated with politicians, especially during elections.
“I strongly condemn this since, in the past, I have seen many rowdies trying to develop political clout to avoid police action. I am not sure if the Home Minister knew Azham,” Kumar said.
Terming Azham a “notorious rowdy”, the former officer said he was involved in more than 15 cases of murder, attempted murder, extortion and even supari killings. “During 1999-2000, we were frantically looking for Azham and we had even prepared a sketch based on the descriptions given by his associates because his photograph was not available”, Kumar recollected.
Police say Azham was first arrested in 1996 in an assault case and he befriended other accused from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in the prison.
Soon, he began sourcing country-made pistols from there and always carried one on him, the police added.
According to a senior police official, Azham used to sell clothes on footpaths on Brigade Road in the early 90s. During 1995-96, he began threatening other vendors on the footpath and also started hafta collection on other roads. After a few attempt to murder cases, Azham started calling himself ‘Brigade’ Azham, police said.