The police often give history-sheeters catchy or funny nicknames in order to easily identify them as it helps register the names in their heads.
One such rowdy in Girinagar, South Bengaluru, ‘Gonne’ Viji alias Vijay Kumar, has recently been posing a headache to the cops.
“Three special teams have been formed by the South Division police to nab this notorious history-sheeter who had assaulted three police staff, including a woman constable, using pepper spray,” P Krishnakant, Deputy Commissioner of Police, South Division, told South First.
Bad cold and a runny nose
Girinagar cops remember Vijay Kumar since he was young as he has been involved in crimes from his late teens.
Whenever he ended up at the police station, he would often have a bad cold with a runny nose. So the cops gave him the nickname Gonne (mucus in Kannada) for easy reference.
“He is now around 24-years old and has become a notorious chain-snatcher. His associates are those who have come out on bail from prisons,” said a senior police officer from Girinagar police station.
Gonne Viji was out on bail last month in a chain-snatching case in Channapatna. He had been accused of robbing a 250 gram gold chain from a woman in Channapatna along with his associate Renu Kumar alias ‘Tango’, so named since he had a peculiar walking style.
‘Nai Kalla’, ‘Gidi Gidi’ Krishna, and others
The Girinagar cops also recollected another associate of Gonne Viji who was named ‘Nai Kalla’ — dog thief in Kannada — as the first case registered against him at the police station was for stealing a pet dog. He was into the dog breeding business, a senior police officer said. Both the associates of Gonne Viji are now in the Central Prison in Bengaluru.
Other history-sheeters who have been given such nicknames include ‘Kulla’ Rizwan, a reference to to his height; ‘Cat Eyes’ Rajendra alias ‘Bekkina Kannu’; ‘Koti’ Rama, due to his looks; ‘Gidi Gidi’ Krishna, as the rowdy would start trembling as if he were in a trance before attacking his rivals; ‘Hebbat’ Manja, who used to put his thumb impression instead of signing police documents.
It’s not just the police
But it is not always the police who give such nicknames to rowdies. Sometimes the names given by the associates of the history-sheeters tend to stick.
Some of them include ‘Poison’ Rama, who used to poison his enemies; ‘Bomb’ Naga, who used to make petrol bombs and hurl them at his rivals; ‘Gun’ Muneer, who used to supply illegal countrymade arms; ‘Silent’ Sunila, who carried out many of his criminal activities without even the knowledge of his own associates; ‘Onte’ (camel) Rohit, as he was the tallest of all the rowdies and would be paraded during area domination exercises by the city police.
How about Ajith Malayalee and JCB Nagaraj?
What if the police could not use any of their physical features to name them and the rowdies didn’t have a prior nickname given to them by their associates? The police then simply named them after the town they hail from.
Such history-sheeters include Bannanje Raja, Srirampura Kitty, Sullia Pujari, and Ajith Keralian alias Ajith Malayalee.
Some of the rowdies would also be identified by the businesses they were into: ‘Oil’ Kumar, since he was into petroleum business (earlier he was known as ‘Boot House’ Kumar as he owned a shoe store in the city); ‘Koli’ Fayaz, who ran a chicken stall in Shivajinagar while he was alive; ‘JCB’ Nagaraj, who ran an earthmover business; ‘Brigade’ Azam, who was in charge of footpath hawkers on Brigade Road; Ishtiaq ‘Pehalwan’, a bodybuilder and husband of a former Shivajinagar corporator.
An SP-ranked officer told South First that rowdies even sometimes like the nicknames as it creates a fear factor among members of the public. The officer said that most of the notorious rowdies have been shot by the police on their legs — their knees to be precise — in order to put a stop to their activities.
Three teams to track ‘Gonne’ Viji
‘Gonne’ Viji too had been shot by police on his knee in January 2021. A sub-inspector shot at him after he attacked the cops with a dagger when they were chasing him. He had earlier performed a wheelie stunt and brushed another motorist, whom he then stabbed with a dagger.
After he was out on bail last month, the Girinagar cops kept track of him and on Friday, they had information that he was coming to a procession in Kempegowda to carry out robberies.
A group of three police personnel — police constables Nethra, Nagendra and Kiran — spotted Gonne Viji at the junction on a road near the procession in Hoskerehalli. The trio started chasing him as he was speeding on a motorcycle that had no registration plates.
When the police cornered him, he pulled out his dagger and attacked the constables. He used pepper spray not only on Nethra, but also the locals who had gathered to defend the police.
As the cops were attacked, they had to call for reinforcement, but by that time, Gonne Viji had fled. No members of the public came forward to file a complaint.
Subsequently, based on a complaint from the cops, a case under IPC sections 307 (attempt to murder), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), and 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) were slapped on him. Three teams have now been formed to trace and secure him.