Gangster Aziz Reddy alias Baba Reddy was shot dead by the Hyderabad police in the posh Jubilee hills area of the city on Wednesday night.
Hyderabad police commissioner B Prasada Rao said that the police received a tip-off that the gangster, along with two of his associates, was in the locality to settle a land dispute and extort money. The Commissioner's Task Force split into two groups and launched a manhunt for him.
The search continued for over two hours till the Task Force personnel spotted three men alighting from a vehicle. One of the three was identified as Aziz Reddy.
As the policemen closed in on the gang, Reddy and his associates tried to flee. The police asked them to surrender, but Reddy started firing at the police. The police returned the fire and Reddy was killed in the ensuing shootout. However, his associates managed to escape.
The police commissioner said that Reddy was a close associate of Mumbai's underworld don Chhota Rajan. Reddy was involved in two murders in Hyderabad in 1990-91. Later, he shifted base to Mumbai and developed links with underworld mafia don Dawood Ibrahim.
Reddy, whose real name is Venkat Reddy, is a 9th class dropout. He worked in a workshop in Musheerabad and later teamed up with a couple of other goons to form a gang. He even traveled to Saudi Arabia by using a fake passport but returned three months later.
In 1992, he went to Mumbai and worked for a Shiv Sena trade union leader. He also worked as a bodyguard for the owner of a local bar. After he met Sanjay Ghati, a sharp-shooter from Chhota Rajan's gang, he joined the underworld don's gang.
Reddy was involved in several murders, besides numerous extortion cases, in Mumbai and Pune. The Mumbai police eventually arrested him and he spent three years in the Arthur Road prison. After his release in 1999-2000, he obtained a fake passport again and visited several South-East Asian countries. He carried out Chhota Rajan's operations in Singapore, Bangkok and Bathan (Indonesia).
He returned to India in December 2002 and shifted his base to Uttar Pradesh. He teamed up with the Subash Thakur gang to commit a series of murders. He also came back to Mumbai to work for the Thakur gang.
He returned to Hyderabad and was planning to establish his own gang when he was arrested in a raid on his hideout at Macha Bolarum area. The police seized five foreign-made sophisticated weapons from Aziz Reddy, including an Israel-made Uzi sub-machine gun, three 9-mm pistols and a huge quantity of ammunition.
As many as eight cases of murder and extortion were registered against Reddy. The police said that Reddy used to settle land disputes and extort money from realtors, businessmen and film personalities. He was involved in several kidnappings for ransom.
The police had invoked the Andhra Pradesh Control of Organised Crime Act against him and his associates, who were charged with carrying out illegal activities in Hyderabad. However, Reddy was acquitted of the charges as all the witnesses turned hostile.
After his release, he was believed to be in hiding in Mumbai. He came to the city only a few days before the fatal encounter.