The rise and fall of Gangi Reddy

Updated - March 07, 2015 05:46 am IST

Published - March 07, 2015 12:00 am IST - TIRUPATI:

The crime graph of Kollam Gangi Reddy, who ran a highly-organised red sanders smuggling racket in Chittoor, Nellore, Kurnool and Kadapa districts, had been one of ups and downs.

His arrest by the Interpol in Mauritius last month brought his activities to the proverbial ‘grinding halt’. Police were astounded when they learnt of Reddy’s unbelievably-shrewd business acumen, wide spectrum of crime and, more importantly, his ability to manoeuvre operations by greasing palms. Going beyond red sanders, Reddy had a suspected role in forgery to brewing illicit liquor and atrocities to murder. Incidentally, his first reported crime was outraging the modesty of a woman, for which he was chased away by people. His active involvement in the Naxalite movement for two years revealed his dubious role in the claymore mine attack on Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu at Alipiri in 2003.

A mob led by him had literally terrorised Rangampalli and Vaddipalli when his brother K. Brahmananda Reddy became mandal president in 1987.

In spite of getting a life sentence for the murder of Ambati Muralimohan Reddy in 1992, he again made an attempt on his elder brother Ambati Subba Reddy’s life in Hyderabad. He was also notorious for masterminding criminal activities from jail.

Reddy’s tryst with red sanders smuggling began in 2002, when he was introduced to a notorious smuggler, Venkatarama Raju, by none other than a forest watcher.

Later, his meeting with international kingpin Sahul Hameed turned out to be the game-changer.

He not only operated without hindrance in the Seshachalam hill ranges, which are spread from Tirupati to Mydukur, but also gained access beyond the Indian shores.

Gangi Reddy had acquired assets such as a petrol bunk, pulverisation (barytes) mills, landed property and a three-storey building in Hyderabad, Tirupati, Chennai and Kadapa.

He is also said to have regularly gifted land to officials and political leaders to have his line ‘cleared’.

Now, police expect his arrest will see many more skeletons tumble out of the closet.

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