The Crime Branch of the Gujarat Police arrested Ravi from Ahmedabad, along with his driver Shruthesh Kumar and associate Ram Ji.
Alleged sex trafficker Manjunath KS aka “Santro” Ravi, who has been absconding since 2 January, was arrested from Ahmedabad on Friday afternoon by the Crime Branch of the Gujarat Police.
The alleged trafficker and power broker had gone absconding after a case was registered against him by the Vijayanagar police in Mysuru based on a complaint from his estranged wife.
Ravi, police officials said, ditched his phone as well as his wig in an attempt to throw the police off his trail.
“Ravi is a shrewd criminal and knew that the police would get to him if he used a phone anywhere. Both he and his driver had not been using any phone since 2 January, and they left their phones at Ravi’s house and started driving around in other states,” a senior IPS officer told South First.
He added: “We have batchmates everywhere throughout the country, and we activated our intelligence network to wherever we suspected Ravi had travelled or was travelling.”
Ravi was arrested along with his driver Shruthesh Kumar, and his businessman associate identified as Ram Ji from Ahmedabad, who assisted him with his absconding in the capital city of Gujarat, the officer said.
According to the police, Ravi decided not to wear his wig because it gave him a different look as he was bald.
That way, the cops would not recognise him as the same person in the photographs being circulated.
Ravi also looked like he had probably not shaved for a week or two when he was picked up, the officer added.
He had apparently shaved his moustache within a day or two of going absconding.
According to the police teams pursuing Ravi from the start, He and the driver travelled from Bengaluru in one of his cars towards Chikkamagaluru, and then to Hebri in Udupi.
From there, they headed to Kochi in Kerala, where Ravi managed to change the car they were travelling in, the officer said.
With the changed car, Ravi and his driver headed towards Pune in Maharashtra and then to Ahmedabad in Gujarat.
Once there, he sought assistance from a local businessman named Ramji to abscond from the police in the city on Thursday, the officer said.
The Crime Branch of the Gujarat Police informed the Karnataka Police about his arrest after he was nabbed on Friday.
He was handed over to the Karnataka Police and after being produced in court. The cops are expected to take him to Mysuru on Saturday morning.
Union Home Minister Araga Jnanendra told reporters: “Putting an end to all rumours and speculations, the Karnataka Police have successfully arrested the accused Santro Ravi, who was absconding for 11 days.”
He added: “The police will carry out a proper investigation into all the charges against him, and action will be taken against him if he is found guilty.”
Interestingly, the minister was also in Ahmedabad at the time of Santro Ravi’s arrest.
He had gone there to hold a meeting with the vice-chancellor and senior officers of the National Forensic Science University regarding the establishment of a forensic science university in Karnataka.
Taking a dig at the minister, JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy told reporters: “Who knows? The accused could have been taken to Gujarat by influential people, from where he could have escaped abroad. First of all, who let him cross the Karnataka border?”
Soon after a criminal case was registered against Santro Ravi by the Mysuru Police, and he went absconding, two audio phone conversations were purportedly released by a disgruntled DySP-ranked police officer who exposed his power-broking role for facilitating transfers of senior police officers.
Over the last week, key leaders of the BJP in Karnataka — from Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai himself to Home Minister Araga Jnanendra and even Union minister Pralhad Joshi — have been busy distancing themselves from Santro Ravi.
Soon after the audio clips were released, photos of Santro Ravi with ministers in the Karnataka Cabinet and top politicians — including the chief minister’s son Bharat Bommai — surfaced.
Opposition parties — the Congress and the JD(S) — accused the government of using Santro Ravi’s services for corruption.
The embarrassment continued to bother the ruling BJP government after Kumaraswamy challenged the chief minister to order a probe into the alleged nexus between his Cabinet ministers and Santro Ravi.