Kapali Anand, Gate Ganesha, Poone & the haircut

S.R. RAMAKRISHNA writes: MiD-DaY has been reporting on Bangalore’s gangland murders these past couple of weeks. The murder of Narasimha Murthy, alleged don of what is known as the ‘coolie mafia’, was the most brazen, and took place in busy Chamarajpet.

A dozen men, led by a stocky film financier called Kapali Ananda, flashed their choppers and finished Nararasimha Murthy off in full view of the neighbourhood’s strollers.

It was a bad gangster movie coming alive.

Looking at photos of Narasimha Murthy, you could well imagine how he must have terrorised the poor labourers at K.R. Market. He was tall, beefy, and wore a load of gold to proclaim to the world his riches (and ability to pay his way out of any police trouble).

He and Kapali had been old rivals, vying for money generated from K.R. Market, Bangalore’s oldest, busiest and filthiest wholesale market.

The death of Narasimha Murthy, whom the Tamil labourers called Poone (‘cat’, because he had cat’s eyes), came soon after the murder of another K.R. Market gangster, Gate Ganesha. Over seven years, Ganesha had earned notoriety in the same squalid setting, and made enough money to be able to contest elections in his native Tamil Nadu. A rival lured his men, and they did him in.

What exactly is the coolie mafia?

Hundreds of lorries arrive at K.R. Market through the day, bringing fruits and vegetables from all over Karnataka and adjoining States. Poor labourers do all the unloading. A coolie gets Rs 5 for every gunny bag he moves into a shop. The mafia allows him to keep Rs 4, and pockets Re 1. At least 30,000 bags are unloaded in a day, and the gang ruling the market collects Rs 30,000 from these labourers alone.

The don pays off his cronies, officiously called ‘supervisors’, and takes home a cool Rs 25,000 at the end of the day.

That amounts to at least Rs 7 lakh a month, and Rs 8 million a year.

The don also collects Rs 10 from each wayside vendor as protection money.

With so much ready cash rolling in, the gangsters are tempted to get into what they call the ‘meter baddi’ business. ‘Baddi’ is Kannada for interest, and ‘meter baddi’ refers to interest that mounts fast, perhaps like the fare on a rigged autorickshaw meter.

Some venture into financing films as well.

All this can’t thrive without the tacit support of the police, and whoever happens to be the politician reigning in the constituency. Narasimha Murthy reportedly owed allegiance to a Congress leader, who had risen to eminence by exploiting, and then selling hope, to the miserable lot labouring away at the market.

Behind these murky stories are the human stories.

The women in Narasimha Murthy’s family told him it was inauspicious on that particular day for him to have a haircut, but he hadn’t heeded their words. They are distraught, and certain he died because he defied their religious beliefs.

Kapali, who killed him, got his name from working at Kapali Bar, and selling tickets in black at Kapali cinema. And the boys caught in the gang wars have their own tales of despair and bravado to tell.

The Kannada film industry keeps cribbing it has no good scripts, and pays a ransom each time it buys remake rights from a Tamil or Telugu producer. Any film-maker with any interest in human drama would find in K.R. Market enough material for a whole Godfather-style series.

Or a Slumdog Millionaire series, if you please.

(S.R. Ramakrishna is the resident editor of MiD-DaY, Bangalore, where this piece was first published.)

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29 Responses to “Kapali Anand, Gate Ganesha, Poone & the haircut”

  1. Shravan Says:

    Well, If you recall the Aa dinagaLu, It was about something similar and the movie highlighted the fact that elusive rowdies are often killed by rival gangs (Even though the film was about the time of the ’80s). The crackdown on some of the famous rowdies by rival gangs are sometimes more effective than the ones by the police.

    That is what is happening. The system sort of self destructs… not as a whole but at least it prevents the individuals from becoming prominent for a long time and gaining irreversible political gains…. and the society being endlessly subjected to a single mafia’s tyranny. And prevents a situation like the Sarkar or D Company or the Italian Mafia

    But the society is not spared by the evils… If its not one… its the other gang that exploits the people.

    I am not for once saying that its good. Its terrible… its awful… and should be brought to an end.

    Is anyone talking about Mafia in the elections ??? Wonder Why ???
    What does Mr. H. T. Sangliana have to say about this ??? Do his views matter ???

  2. Janardhan Reddy Says:

    LOL…All these rowdies have catchy names…

    Gate Ganesha
    Bekkina Kannu Rajendra
    Spot Naga
    Site Gopi
    Hafta Ajmal

    More Here:

    Hebbetu Manja – Thumb Manja

    Yenne Seena – Oil Seena or Whiskey Seena (depends on your definition of “Yenne”)

    Bomb Naga

    Seeme-Yenne Ramappa – Kerosine Oil Ramappa

    Istri Gaadi Venka – Ironing Vehicle Venka

    Macche Baabu – “Spot on Skin” Baabu

    Tinker Ismail

    Mamsa Angadi Raaja – Butcher Shop Raaja

    Mosaru Ranga – Curds/Yogurt Ranga

    Spot Naga

    Korangu Krishna – Monkey Krishna (cross over from a neighboring state!)

    Kothi Manja – Monkey Manja

    Bekkina Kannu Rajendra – Cat Eyes Rajendra

    Jelly Venkatesh – Ballast Venkatesh

    GiNi – Parrot

    Parodi Babu – Gangster Babu

    Acid Raja

    Koli Fayaz – Chicken Fayaz

    Bullet basava

    Blade bhaskar

    kaddi kumara

    chaddi chandra

    Jedharahalli krishnappa

    Sunila who killed Bekinakanu Rajendra

    Macha alias Manju Kamakshipalya

    Laki alias Lakshmana

    Raja alias Captain Raja

    jaggi Alias Break Jaggi


    Rama Lakshmana


    Chakre alias chakravarthy

    Jagga (Marenhalli)

    Bevarsi Bheema

    Deadly Soma

    Loafer Lingappa

    Bhaadko Bopanna

    Nayi Nanjappa

    Koli Manja and Seeme Yenne Suri

    Khaleel – Dynamite Khaleel

    Munna – Goruba

    Hussain – Dynamite’s right hand

    Saleem – Chatni Saleem

    Pappu – Amir Khan Pappu ( This guy is koli fayaz’s younger son )

    Mubarak – Tiger Mubarak

    Azam -Brigade Azam

    Ishtiyaq – Ishtiyqa Pailwaan

    Tanveer – Haji Saab

    Khaleel – Tarkari Khaleel ( Got murdered some days back )

    Niyamat – Pailwaan

    Munna – Petrol Munna

    Jaffar – P & T Jaffar

    Nana – Nanu ( Rowdy in a politicial appearance )

    Munna – Pillana Garden Munna

    Mahim – Shivajinagar Mahim

    And all there associates. shafath, basid, pappi, chapdi, khwaja, shaheed, gori jaffer, jameel, gidda amjad, modi road imtiyaz.

    kari naga


    kulze (kulla guru)




    tagur ravi


    copper head (this guy used to have mehndi for hair)

    poli baali

    kari manja

    mund pulle


    gidda (short fella)

    Agni Sridhar

    Bachan alias amanulla

    Muthappa Rai


    DD Ravi

    Kenny Anna

    Kari Anna


    Gowripalya Imran



    Rajesh Kumar, who is better known as Bannanje Raja because he is a native of Bannanje near Udupi. Though he controls the underworld from bigger cities like Mangalore and Bangalore, Raja swears by the place of his birth. There are many gangsters who like to be associated with their native places, such as yesteryear rowdy Krishnoji Rao, better known as Srirampuram Kitty, and reformed goon Krishna, who would like to be known by no other title than the name of his locality, Jedarahalli.

    And then there are others like Koti (monkey) Rama, who is called so just because he supposedly looks like a monkey. And no, the nickname does not offend him in the least. The slain Kunta (lame) Suri acquired the title after police shot him in the leg and left him hobbling for the rest of his short life.

    Dons like Chota Rajan have their erstwhile ‘status’ to thank for the titles they get. Rajan, originally Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje, was named so because he was a former associate of Rajan Nair alias Bada Rajan. And then there are others, such as Ravi Pujari, who embrace shorter titles because their actual names happen to be tongue-twisters. Pujari’s actual name happens to be Raviprakash Sullia Pujari.

    Kotwal Ramchandra, who was once a terror in the city, acquired his first name because he preferred non-Kottu (vegetarian) food to chicken or mutton. His underworld companion, Oil Kumar, was earlier called Boot House Kumar because he used to run a footwear shop in the city. The ‘Oil’ title came only after he ditched the shoe-chappal trade to enter the more lucrative illegal petroleum business. MP Jairaj, who was shot dead in the late 90s, was better known as Robbery Jairaj while his contemporary, Bekkinkannu (cat-eyed) Rajendra, was known for his glassy eyes. According to assistant commissioner of police BB Ashok Kumar, rowdy-sheeters embrace these names because they find a sense of identity in them. He said many of them also got their names on account of some characteristics distinct to them.

    The now-deceased Station Shekhar acquired his nickname because he was always found hiding in railway stations after committing crimes. On the other hand, Gidi Gidi Krishna was named so because he would also be found shaking uncontrollably – as if in a trance – before an attack on his rivals.

  3. Coffee addict Says:

    ‘ Super cop ‘ H T Sangliana was seen with some notorious Rowdies of Gandhinagar, just three days back.

    He was there to attend an election meeting!

  4. kapali Says:

    Parandama Encounter was SET UP. he was arrested and at 3 pm was asked to get into the jeep. At that time he realized his fate.

    the news channels reported that he was Killed in the encounter near the Jail.

  5. Jilebi Says:

    anyone has Narasimha murthy’s photo? search on google failed!

  6. Subbulakshmi Says:

    one sensible post in a long time. Havent you read the “news item” in all the papers in the last one week that there is a HUGE rush of applications by the rowdies in the jail for bail? Its for them to come out and get engaged in “election work”. in their places several others are sent in , like a proxy candidate. Why ask only Sangliayana, every politicain who wins knows how he won – with the “help” of these rowdies. Dont tell me now that Sangliayana is “clean” to the extent that he is unaware. He knew every single deal by the underworld even during his days in office. He only took care to bust “some” cases and made name. he was mostly unpopular in the police department – he was even called a joker – because he was supposed to have a “jaana kivudu, kurudu”.

    ask yeddyurappa how Shobha won in yashwanthpura – all the slum people voted her and why and how did they vote for her??

    c/o ……

  7. Not A Witty Nick Says:

    husaar aNNou, nam bhaavi mantrigaLa bagge heegella baribardu.

  8. Dr. Sree Reddy Says:

    Its really sad to know Benagluuru streets are witnessing gang wars right infront of public.
    I think it is very inhuman to allow exploitation of unorganised workers. Cant someone think of a system where these workers get paid for what they do and can be isulated from the dirty of hands of these rowdies/gangs?

  9. Coffee addict Says:

    6 more gems! 1. Vallenne Manja of Mahalakshmi Layout – he used to sell ground nut oil (vallenne). Pouthi (dead) in police records!

    2. Idli Vade Sheena of KR Puram – He used to eat 15-20 plate idli-vate at one go! He is now retired.

    3. HMT Nanjappa of Mattikere – His house was close to HMT factory. Pouthi!

    4. Hasodi Murthy of Madivala – He was a migrant from Hasodi village near Shimoga. Retired. Back in Shimoga.

    5. Leg Kumara of Nagarabhavi -He was fond of kuri leg! No idea……

    6. Rado Nataraja of Minerva mills – He had a Rado watch! Pouthi …..

  10. narasimha Says:

    Market Devi, alias Devaraj once a notorious rowdy, is the Chairman of KSRTC. I wonder how much money is he making in kickbacks for buying all those hitech volvo buses?

    Chakri/Sakre is a ex-rowdy sheeter and currently MLA .

    Gurrappa Naidu is a ex-rowdy sheeter and contested from Padmanabhanagar in the last state assembly election and lost. Our own CM Drum Singh personally canvassed for this guy.

    Muthappa Rai is also trying to get into the election frey and acquire some respectability :)

    But the interesting thing was when RK Hegede was chief minister, Kotwal Ramachandra, barged into RK’s cabin in Vidhana Soudha and threatened him with a macchu…so much for our law and order even in those days.

  11. Not A Witty Nick Says:

    AmarakoshanO, illa yaavadadru devara sahasranamanO odadu biTTu rowdygaLa hesarugaLante! thoo!

  12. B.N.Gururaj Says:

    If these thugs are collecting 20% of the wages of coolies, off the top, why are labour unions keeping very quite. What happened to Communist “Red”dys, AITUC, CITU and the like? Shouldn’t they organise the labourers to protest against this daily ransom? The communists lack guts to protest against thugs, and reserve their right to strike and protest only against industrialists who are not thugs.

  13. oochara Says:

    Nodi Ramakrishna,

    Hands that wield the pen not necessarily can wield the sword.

    That does in to say not all stories make a good movie. Your story makes for a good read in an english tabloid by english craving souls like we. But the moment you apply the Kannada sensibilities–ondu hudugi, ondu love story, ondu item number, kannada dialogue vagera, vagera–alllige you have entered another cliched movie genre.

    However, I seriously think, we need writers like you to write it in English about local issues with the same panache like you do. It connects the educated to a world of reality we live in. Getting the educated in tune with reality means they not only watch what they are constantly reading, but will eventually know how to fine tune it into a good script as they keep the vageras intact!

    @Janardhan Reddy

    Nice work sir. Appreciate it!

  14. Kannadiga Says:

    Surprised to see the omission of ‘ Capo dei Capi’ of Karnataka HE M Rai.

  15. Gowda.Boy Says:

    Sir ‘The Writer’,

    Your calculations are amazing. But your name forces me to use it to explain my calculation.

    In my mother tongue kannada we often say Rama-na lekka and krishna-na lekka. The first part of your lekka is totally Rama (right), but your Krishna-na (false) lekka about good STORIES being available beats my wits and cockles my armpits to say how little kannada movies you watch. For God’s sake the thug movies that sees its day on every friday here in karunadu, all have a storyline. Only thing is that your reviewers are not seeing them! They out and out give four stars to a Ramesh’s hairpuller Kenkata in Sankata, while a decent movie like Junglee (last bit was a lil draggy) a two star.

    Pseudo intellectuals not tuned to reality like someone has said above!

  16. Yella Ok Says:

    Sir Ramakrishna – Neevu Itthheechige Kannada movies bagge observe maadthaa illa antha anisuththe. Films only about rowdies, sir. I think it is time we put a full stop to these rowdy stories – simply because there are too many of them and very few of them are from sensible directors like chaitanya.

  17. Ramakrishna Says:

    Oochara, thanks for your kind words.
    Gowda.Boy: The point is that gangster movies must be made well for them to excite movie buffs… I know we have gory longu machchu sagas hitting the screens every week, but not many of your class or mine (the two of us are holding this conversation in English, so!) would want to watch them. I’m assuming we’d be curious about a Godfather or a Slumdog… Chaitanya’s Aa Dinagalu was a good study. I have seen videos of songs from Jangli, which I thought were nice and trendy, but I haven’t seen the film. Loved the words in Jangli Shivalingu. As for Venkata in Sankata, I wrote this review, and gave it three stars, not four!

    Middle-brow timepass

    Venkata in Sankata, directed by its hero Ramesh Arvind, banks on a mad caper story. When it opens, Ramesh is a courageous policeman cracking difficult cases, but losing all credit to his goofy colleague Laddu (Devdas Kapikad). He finds success and love as the story hurtles towards a chaotic climax.

    Like in all capers, you have criminals out to wreak havoc on the lead characters, and in this case, on Bangalore as well. With terror being the flavour of the season, the bad guys want the release of their mastermind Iqbal (played by script writer Rajendra Karanth). Iqbal’s Kannada is a parody, like the hotch-potch Kannada attributed to Old Mysore jutka drivers; such tired caricatures put the film in the league of the verbose, over-the-top drama of Master Hirannaiah.

    Add to this a Ferrari-driving babe (Sharmila Mandre) who falls in love with Ramesh, her freaky palmist-dad (Madhu Totapalli) who makes a fortune from handing out ‘lucky’ stones, a bald grandma (Umesh) who loves eating and dreaming about her dead husband, and you have set the
    tone for heavy-duty comic action. After the interval, the action moves to a college with more zany characters, including a forgetful professor (Kashi) who complicates life for everyone he meets.

    The film gains from appropriately loud and silly acting by everyone, including Mukhyamantri Chandru and Umasri, who play senior cops. The largely witty dialogue begins to make its impact as the madness builds up. The stunts and title graphics elevate the film from the budget mundaneness of TV sitcoms, and the college kids (led by debutants Anusha and Meghana) add energy to the proceedings.

    Overall, the film is middle-brow timepass. With a sudden intrusion of the patriotic rhetoric towards the end, Venkata in Sankata becomes, like Mani Ratnam’s Roja, a champion of statist sentiment. Finally, one regret could be that Ramesh is contented with pointless slapstick when he could, with some effort, have turned his comedy into a satire that speaks bigger truths. He is happy being Master Hirannaiah when he could be aspiring to be Chaplin.

  18. chandru Says:

    Narsimha avare,

    Market Devi is not the chairman of KSRTC,avru eega ex mla,sakre/chakre is not even a councillor

  19. narasimha Says:


    Thanks for the update. I stand corrected.

    However, Devi was chairman of KSRTC at one time when Jairaj (the ex-commissioner of BMP) was its managing director. I fail to recollect the time frame but he was a political appointee to that post.



  20. Harry Says:

    One day or the other all the rowdies have to be killed by another. Gurappa Naidu who contested from Padmanabhanagar is a real gaandu…

  21. tarlesubba Says:

    i somehow missed this thread.

    i watched aa dinagaLu. it’s a gripping gangsta movie with some mean badass ganstas with fascinating characters. – has some minor quirks: for one thing, for movie it has very tight shots. so it is easy to forget that the movie is set in the 80s. for example, my wife who does not known the story behind the movie did not get this, especially since the lead characters dress as if they are in the 90s and many scenes have saturated colours, that we tend to associate with current times. ‘it does not look like a story from 80s’ she said. cyanide, another awesome movie, managed to achieve this. when you watch it, you have no confusion about when the movie is set.

    but despite these she liked the movie a lot. i did too. because it is written very well.

    i can understand that it is tough to make a 80s movie set in blr in modern blr on a budget. but there has to be a way. i think to make “period” films, without sacrificing quality, they should use techniques from noir.

    so people are there any noir movies in kannada? i know that kannadigas like VK murthy pioneered noir in india, but are there any kannada movies? did kanagal or nag or babu try this?

    i think jugari cross can be made into an awesome noir film. the story itself suggests it. wet, dimly lit situations, flickering lights in a train etc etc..

  22. tarlesubba Says:

    talking of gangstas here are bunch of kudumi ganstas.

    hilarious they are.

  23. Vitlan Potli Says:


    Glad you brought up the noir subject. I thought Dr Raj’s ‘Dhumakethu’ was also very noir. I would still enjoy it even today. Being a big fan of the hardboiled detective novels of Dashiell Hammett I have also wondered why is that kannada movie industry does not make any in this genre unlike in the past where we had quite a few. It is not like one has to invest heavily in any graphics or modern gizmos for any special effects. guess now is the right time some of the worthies in the industry made one; that would be quite a respite from all the mindless longu, machu movies.

    A few years back happened to see a brilliant indie movie called “Brick”(in 2005 i guess)by Rian Johnson. This is film noir in a high school setting(that should appeal to the teeny-boppers too) made on a shoestring budget, recently borrowed the dvd from the public library and saw it just to hear the weird slang all over again. Im sure this can be adapted in kannada as well with a good person at the helm. If you have seen ‘brick’what are your thoughts if not please watch it and let me know your thoughts(request all noir fans to watch it). Im waiting for the next offering from Rian Johnson ” The Brothers Bloom” to be released in dvd (missed out the limited theater release)

  24. pramod Says:

    i am an big fan of silent sunil………. wow he has great meter and guts,,,,,,,, he is no 1 don of karnataka state ever seen……..

  25. nishanth Says:

    next deadly soma to this field is none other than magadi road sanjay @ papu.. i am his follower.

  26. omer Says:

    sabir(220) (shivajinagar)

  27. roonik Says:

    another u people have forgot that bakshi garden kutty and raja

    another u have forgot bedrihalli bennu

  28. Anand kumar. Says:

    I wan2 kno about a guy called Machi Akbar from Shivajinagara…. He and his guys had helped me in a property dispute near Banaswadi.
    later i had been to Kerala and lost his contact.

    koli fayaz….. Shivajinagar
    Tanveer……. shivajinagar
    Rabbani……. Shivajinagar
    Altaf…… Shivajinagar
    Babu…..Tannery road
    Arif…… Padranpura
    Sajjad……. Shivajinagar
    Pappu s/o Koli fayaz….. Shivajinagar
    Machi Akbar s/o Rabbani……. Shivajinagar
    Diwana ali…..ilyasnagar
    Magadi road Babu
    Brigade azam…..Fraser town
    elumalai……Tannery road

  29. Santosh Says:

    Who is Machi Akbar…. Wher does he Stay…. is he the Coming Name in The Underworld…. i Have heard this Name Many Times…. Machi Akbar Operates in And Around Shivajinagar…. Has a Very Large Number of guyz Working for Him…. Land Mafia…. Extortion…. Murder…..307…. and many Cases are registered against him…..i have Heard he is In Connection with Underworld Mafia Operating From Dubai…. Machi Akbar is Said to Be a Close and a Secret Associate of Don Dawood Ibrahim… Machi Akbar or Fish Akbar

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