Next time a young man on a brand new bike vroom past you in a zig-zag manner during peak hour traffic on the highway, do not assume he is in urgency. He could be one of the participants of the unofficial drag racing that has been going on in the city for a while now.
The City Police probing the murder of businessman Imtiaz Khan has learnt that the main accused Aneesh’s gang controlled the racing.
Police sources said Sinoj, a key member of Aneesh’s gang, was an ardent fan of drag racing and had controlled the show. Different bikers would be allotted different time slots to cover the same stretch along busy roads.
The winners were initially given Rs. 10,000 on completing the distance in the shortest time, the police gathered from Aneesh.
Once the race caught the fancy of youngsters, the stake money was increased, but only Sinoj had full knowledge of the business.
Sinoj was killed during a shoot-out in a Dindigul lodge in March last year by a Tamil Nadu police team, which tracked Aneesh and Sinoj as part of its investigation into the kidnapping of a DMK councillor.
The Town Central Police had booked 22 youths last June on charges of racing along Goshree-Chathiath Road.
Meanwhile, the investigation into the Imtiaz Khan murder case has blown the lid off organised crime in the city. Investigations showed that Aneesh had formed a sort of company in his name with brand identity ‘AAA’ (acronym for Anakkatu Aneesh Antony). Accused in the murder case had appeared in the court last week wearing T-shirts marked ‘AAA’, which Aneesh later claimed was the logo of a company he formed to provide bouncers to pubs in Bangalore.
Police have found that Aneesh’s rival, Bhai Naseer with close links to Imtiaz Khan, was planning to go more organised and start an office at GCDA Shopping Complex at Marine Drive. This, police believe, was the immediate provocation for Aneesh to torture Imtiaz to gather Naseer’s whereabouts in a bid to outsmart him. The office, started by Imitiaz Khan, was projected as a centre for recruiting unskilled labourers to West Asian countries, but the police believe it was a façade for taking up ‘quotation’ assignments.