Murder of Imtiaz Khan, young business man, gave the city police a chance to look afresh at the warring gangs and the labyrinthine crime scene in the city.

For the first time, the city police got to learn that gangs have diversified their business — from offering bouncers and protection to pubs and rave parties at leading hotels to setting up drag racing along city roads.

Aneesh, also known as ‘Maradu Aneesh’, who was arrested in connection with Imtiaz Khan murder, has formed a company-like organisation under the brand name AAA (acronym for Anakkatu Aneesh Antony). The toughies of the company were mostly beefcakes, who were deputed as bouncers to pubs in Bangalore. But the police believe the musclemen were also used to run escort during smuggling of spirit and hawala money.

Arrest of Aneesh and his accomplices in the murder case gave weight to police theory about rival gang wars. Initial deduction was that Aneesh and the gang tortured Imtiaz Khan to squeeze out information about Nazeer, also known as ‘Bhai’ Nazeer, who went into hiding after being involved in an assault case at Aluva. But now the police sources hint that the murder sought a clear result — to stop Imtiaz Khan from emerging more powerful.

But this claim is being contested. Kin of the slain businessman came out in the public recently to fight the move to brand him as part of the gang. But at the press conference, Firoz Khan, brother of Imtiaz Khan, also said that the latter had threats to his life.

Even while the family maintained that Imtiaz Khan had no connection with the gangs, senior police officers believe he had been playing a major role in Nazeer’s gang. A commerce graduate, Imtiaz Khan was working in Dubai for nearly 16 years before coming to the city and launching a real estate firm along with Nazeer.

Activator Builders and Developers, the firm started by Imtiaz, Firoz, Nazeer and two others at GCDA Shopping Complex at Marine Drive, was a cover for activities of the gang, senior police officials said, and this irked Aneesh.

Following the request by kin of Imtiaz Khan, the case is all set to be transferred to Crime Branch, but city police officers said the investigation was in the last leg.

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