Hyderabad: Nayeem, the most wanted gangster for over two decades in earstwhile Andhra Pradesh and also in Telangana, led an underground life ever since his involvement in the murder of IPS officer K.S. Vyas in 1993 became an open secret.

However, the police department had later used him as a covert to nab or attack naxalites whose movements and activities Nayeem knew as he worked with them for a while.

Prominent among Nayeem’s victims: Belli Lalitha, Vyas, IPS, Civil Liberties activist Purushotham, TRS leader Sambasivudu, brother Ramulu and Patlolla Govardhan Reddy
Prominent among Nayeem’s victims: Belli Lalitha, Vyas, IPS, Civil Liberties activist Purushotham, TRS leader Sambasivudu, brother Ramulu and Patlolla Govardhan Reddy

Nayeem is also believed to be a key player in the killing of Sohrabuddin by the Gujarat police in 2005. Sohrabuddin, who was planning to kill BJP leaders in retaliation to the Godra killings in Gujarat, was taking shelter at Nayeem. Sohrabuddin was killed in an encounter by Gujarat police on his way back to the state.

The gangster was an accused in over 15 murder cases, including that of IPS officer K.S. Vyas in 1993, was wanted by the police as well as CBI because he got all confidential information about the powers that be.

In 2007, Nayeem made a dramatic escape from a court and since then went underground, but his ‘services’ were regularly used by cops and politicians, sources said. He even kidnapped the driver of the Telangana Finance Minister Etela Rajender in 2011 (he was an MLA then) as the latter gave shelter to one of the gangster’s target.

The Beginning

Like many teenagers who were attracted to Maoist ideology in Telangana during late 1980s, Nayeem also started joined the Radical Students Union while studying at Degree College in Bhongir town of Nalgonda district. He then became the organiser of the RSU Bhongir unit in 1991. During that time, when he was barely 19, Nayeem was arrested by Yadagirgutta police carrying a tapancha and a grenade.

After getting released on bail, Nayeem joined the Aler dalam of People’s War Group (PWG) as a full-fledged naxalite activist.

Nayeem was a member of PWG action team that killed IPS officer K.S. Vyas at Lal Bahadur Stadium on Jaunary 27, 1993. Vyas was the brain behind the creation of Greyhounds solely for the elimination of naxals.

After this sensational dare-devil act, Nayeem was arrested on February 12, 1993 and a .32 revolver was seized from his possession. A tranformation took place at this point of time. From the jail, he was operating his illegal activities such as extortion and settlements and he was expelled from PWG. After being released on bail on May 4, 2000, Nayeem killed APCLC member K. Purushotham at Madhuranagar in Hyderabad on November 27, 2000. Then again jail became his den of mafia activities.

It is widely suspected that police connived his activities in return for his help in eliminating naxals at the time.

Nayeem openly declared naxals as his enemies and vowed to eliminate as many of them after his brother was killed by naxals in retaliation to another revolutionary working class leader and singer Belli Lalitha.

In May 1999, Nayeem’s gang killed Belli Lalitha at Bhongir, chopped her body into 18 pieces and threw them in front of her sympathisers houses to send a stern warning to their enemies.

Nayeem’s close association with an IPS officer came to light during this period. Both were jointly operating land grabbing activity on the outskirts of Hyderabad. Sitting in the prison, he was operating a gang of shooters comprising mostly gangsters and surrendered Maoists.

The controversial officer landed in a soup in 2001 for recommending issuance of passport to another Maoist renegade Kattula Sammaiah, who was killed at Colombo airport in April that year. After the death of Sammaiah, who was flying to Frankfurt to discuss about a proposed windmill project, names of sons of two top IPS officers, also travelling to Frankfurt along with Sammaiah, cropped up. But, their names were never made public.

To extricate himself from the controversy, the officer ‘handling’ Nayeem, then went on a central deputation and Nayeem later became close to a SP-rank officer.

According to top police sources, the SP-rank officer started using Nayeem for grabbing land in coastal Andhra Pradesh and also for identifying the arms dumps of Maoists. “The weapons seized from dumps were given to Nayeem’s gang. “Part of the cash recovered from the dumps was pocketed by some corrupt cops,” a former police officer said.

Nayeem started eliminating former Naxalites who posed a challenge to his land grabbing activities.

In 2005, Nayeem started using an alias, Kaleemuddin. He was then used by police to lay hands on Shorabuddin Sheikh, who was wanted for hatching plans to eliminate top BJP leaders.

As per the instructions given by his handler, Nayeem got in touch with Sohrabuddin who had taken shelter in Hyderabad and also helped him escape, only to double-cross him later.

He accompanied cops to show the bus in whihc Sohrabuddin was travelling to Sangli with his wife Kauser Bi. Later, Sohrab and Kauser were killed by Gujarat police in what many activists said was a ‘fake encounter’.

Even CBI could not trace the gangster when it wanted to examine him in connection with the Sohrabudding case.

A Greyhounds team shot him dead near his Millennium Colony house in Shadnagar after the driver of the car he was travelling in opened fire at cops.

“Police returned fire. The driver escaped but another person in the car was shot dead and he has been identified as Nayeem. We also seized an AK-47 from his possession. Another pistol was found in the SUV,” Rema Rajeshwari, superintendent of police, Mahbubnagar, said.