BANGALORE: The city police on Sunday arrested notorious robber Kunigal Giri and three of his associates for plotting to target a prominent politician in Hyderabad.
In a joint operation with the Hindupur police, a team of officials from Bangalore raided a house in Hindupur early on Sunday and nabbed the accused Giri (32) and his associates Govinda (27) of Magadi, Jagga (25) of Tumkur and Vasu (26) of Kunigal in Tumkur district.
Speaking to mediapersons, City Police Commissioner Raghavendra H Auradkar said that during interrogation, the accused told the police that they wanted to become famous across the country by targeting a prominent Andhra politician.
The Commissioner said they had information that Giri and his associates were hiding in a house in Hindupur of Ananthpur district. They tracked down the house and surrounded it early on Sunday.
During the operation that followed, Giri tried to escape on his motorcycle, but with the police giving chase, he lost control of the vehicle and fell. He was caught and admitted to the government hospital there as he suffered injuries in the accident.
As the other three accused were being brought to the city, Govinda told the police that he wanted to relieve himself.
The police stopped the vehicles near Devanahalli to oblige him. As soon as he got down, he picked up some stones and attacked Kamakshipalya inspector Balegowda, injuring him on his left hand.
“In retaliation, inspectors Rangappa and N B Sakri opened one round of fire each from their service pistols and the bullets struck Govinda in the leg. He is undergoing treatment at a hospital,” Auradkar said.
Kunigal Giri, along with his aides, used to target homes of wealthy people in and around the city, between 7 and 11 pm. They would choose a time of power cut, enter the house and threaten their victims.
On April 16, the gang had barged into Lakshmi Venkateshwara Recreation Club at Devegowda circle. Some of Giri’s associates — Krishna, Range Gowda, Jail Ravi, Yalakaiah, Appaji, Bharath, Mahesh and Kiran — were caught when they tried to rob the club owner and members.
After arresting 12 of Giri’s associates on April 16, police raided his house and found a dairy which had information about his activities.
Giri reportedly told the police no one would recognise him if he indulges in small crimes and hence wanted to target high-profile people. He wanted even the prime minister and the president to take note of him.
In order to achieve this, he and his gang used to target clubs, real estate agencies, homes of industrialists and other well-known people across the city. He used to attack people, rob them of valuables and threaten them with revolvers, machetes and other lethal weapons and also destroy properties to create a sense of fear among victims, police said.
A police team was formed to nab the culprits after a series of such incidents were reported in and around the city.