When Kamakshipalya police spotted posters with the picture of a known rowdy Manjunath wishing him a ‘happy birthday’ near Pooja Wedding Hall on the Magadi Main Road, they immediately brought it to the notice of senior officers and a case under Karnataka Open Place Disfigurement Act of 1951 was registered against him.
According to the police, S Manjunath alias Thyama is a class ‘A’ rowdy-sheeter and resides in Lakshmana Nagar in Sunkadakatte. Even though he claims to have reformed, the police keep a tab on him. The posters congratulated Majunath on his birthday and were put up without permission from the police department.
Manjunath is said to have been involved in few attempt to murder cases along with other heinous offenses and was active until recently.
The poster war is not new to city police. Posters glorifying rowdies are visible in areas like Shivajinagar, Bharatinagar, SR Nagar, Magadi Main Road, Kalasipalya and other parts of the city.
Former assistant commissioner of police SK Umesh had come up with a novel idea to tackle the menace of birthday posters that were put up by known criminals. Umesh said, “While I was serving as an inspector at the Kalasipalya police station, the birthday posters were a big menace. We would initially just tear them down, but the rowdies would print more copies and display them everywhere. In order to curtail them, we took the help of DTP operators (printers) and would change the birthday posters to death anniversary posters. On either side of the posters, pictures of lamps would be printed. After this, the rowdies stopped putting up birthday posters.” Umesh is currently working with the Bengaluru rural police.
Kamakashipalya police station falls under Vijayanagar sub-division where Umesh once worked as the assistant commissioner of police. While there, he came up with the idea of making the rowdy-sheeters clean public places and storm water drains as of way of discouraging them from a life of crime.
An officer who is part of the investigations said, “After Manjunath’s posters were found, he was called to the police station and was warned not to display his posters and try to influence the general public. The posters were immediately removed after it came to our notice.”
“The rowdies of Vijaynagar sub-division are regularly summoned to clear the weeds adjacent to the city’s biggest storm water drain near the Summanahalli Bridge. The policemen deputed for patrolling duty have been instructed to collect information on the rowdies and their activities regularly.”
It may be recalled that late Brigade Azam of Shivajinagar was in the news after he appeared alongside state cabinet ministers during an election rally. Azam was summoned by the police and warned for his repeated appearances at public functions. Azam passed away a few months ago.