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Updated: August 4, 2013 15:23 IST

Police suspect gangwar behind Friday’s shooting

Staff Correspondent
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Vijayendra Bhat, owner of Sudhindra Industries. Photo: Special Arrangement
The Hindu Vijayendra Bhat, owner of Sudhindra Industries. Photo: Special Arrangement

Vikki Shetty, a underworld operative, phoned several media houses to own up the attack

The police are investigating whether the rivalry between underworld operatives Vikki Shetty and Ravi Poojary was behind the sensational attack on the life of 39-year-old businessman, Vijayendra Bhat.

The gang rivalry angle came to the fore after some media organisations received calls from a person claiming to be Vikki Shetty. The caller alleged that Mr. Bhat had funded the killing of one of his henchmen, Bejai Raja, at Falnir last December, and that the Friday’s attack was to avenge this killing. Earlier in April, the caller had claimed that a transport manager Prashant was shot and hacked to death by his men in Valencia in a retaliatory attack.

A police investigator said the calls made to newspaper offices were being verified. “We are looking into it. The incident certainly looks like a revenge attack.” He said that the weapon used in Friday’s attack appeared to be a country-made pistol.

Police records show Vikki Shetty, a resident of Vittal, had fired in air near SDM College in Mangalore 2005 during a quarrel over an accident. He then fled to Mumbai and is now suspected to be operating from Hong Kong. No efforts were made to extradite him, though many cases are registered against him here.

Police said the rivalry between Ravi Poojary, based in Dubai, and Vikki Shetty led to a series of murders.

Series of murders

Ravi Poojary’s men were reportedly involved in the killing of Bejai Raja, believed to be in retaliation to the latter’s involvement in murder of Pandu Pai, an accomplice of Poojary in 2009. A few weeks ago, the Mangalore police had arrested Nikhil Shetty, an alleged associate of Ravi Poojary. Nikhil Shetty was deported from Dubai after the CBI issued a red corner notice against him.

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