Friday, May 31, 2002
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By Our Staff Reporter
From the Bangalore airport, Muthappa Rai was driven to the office of the Central Bureau of Investigation at Gangenahalli on Bellary Road in one of the four bullet-proof cars which had been kept ready. At least four jeeps with armed policemen escorted the convoy, and police personnel on "Cheetah'' motorcycles provided additional security.
Muthappa Rai, who is said to be associated with the mafia don, Dawood Ibrahim, was reportedly interrogated for hours by CBI and top police officers led by Jeevan Kumar Gaonkar, Joint Commissioner of Police. As many as 19 cases are pending against Rai in the State, including nine in Bangalore.
The Police Commissioner, H.T. Sangliana, told The Hindu that Rai, against whom 16 warrants had been issued, was formally arrested at the airport on his arrival. He said Rai would be produced before an appropriate court, where an application would be moved seeking police custody of the dreaded gangster.
According to reports reaching here, Muthappa Rai was brought to New Delhi from Dubai on Wednesday evening, after the procedures for his deportation had been completed. After interrogation at the CBI headquarters, he was put on a flight to Bangalore at around 6.30 a.m. The flight landed here a little after 8.30 a.m., and Rai was taken to the CBI office.
A team of officers led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime), Bangalore, Ravindra Prasad, had gone to Dubai to convince the Dubai police and the court that warrants against Rai had been issued in Bangalore.
Mr. Sangliana told presspersons that the question of sending Muthappa Rai back to Dubai did not arise. Rai, who was an Indian citizen, had been deported since he did not have a valid passport, he said. Rai was detained by the authorities in Dubai early this month on charges of travelling on a fake passport. On learning about his arrest, the State police contacted the Interpol Wing of the CBI seeking his deportation.
They sent Rai's fingerprints and details of the criminal cases pending against him to the Interpol Wing. It was said that Rai had fallen out with the underworld don, Sharad Shetty, who is also based in Dubai, and that it was Shetty who told the Dubai authorities that Rai was travelling on a fake passport.
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