Bangalore. If you think Jaguar, Mercedes and BMW only refer to luxury cars, then you must have never heard of ‘Santro Ravi’ – a human trafficker whose code name means different things to women from different countries. Based on the names of vehicles. This accused has surprised even the investigating officers. Amidst the war of words between JDS and BJP, a revelation by former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has brought ‘Centro Ravi’ to the headlines.
In yet another shocking allegation against Ravi, the JDS leader claimed that ‘Santro Ravi’ had written a letter to the Rajarajeshwari Nagar police station in Bengaluru, claiming that he was an active BJP worker. Kumaraswamy elaborated that a complainant by the name of Jagdish had lodged a case against ‘Santro Ravi’ at RR Nagar police station alleging money transfer fraud. In return, ‘Santro Ravi’ wrote a letter to the police, in which he mentioned his acquaintance with political people.
What is written in the letter?
The former Chief Minister, while reading out the purported letter which is still with him, said that Ravi also bragged that he could get police officers transferred and he even named some of them in the covering letter. Reading out the purported letter, Kumaraswamy quoted Santro Ravi as saying, “I have worked as a BJP worker for three-four years. I have relations with the MLAs and ministers of our party. That’s why I transferred many officers.
Rise of the ‘Santro Ravi’
Speaking to Stuffunknownon the condition of anonymity, a police source said, “We have seen him socializing with top politicians and ministers of political parties in the last decade. Ravi had become very powerful as a fixer in the government. Although his illegal operations were largely based out of Mysuru, when a police case was registered against him, he used his connections with politicians to exonerate himself. He also supplied women to politicians, industrialists and high-profile clients and then kept their names in his books for future use. Over the years, Ravi upped his game by blackmailing his high-profile clients to get his work done, including by ‘honey trapping’ or transfers of police officers.
A senior BJP minister said that leaders like Kumaraswamy are raising such unnecessary issues to divert attention. He is not clean himself and clearly has something to hide. But one should not forget that if you spit in the air, it will hit your face.
Experts told political gimmick
A big political tussle has now started in Karnataka. However, when asked by political experts that when the state is heading towards elections, will it have any political impact, they answer in the affirmative. Political analyst Sandeep Shastri believes that political parties try to use such methods as the elections approach. Shastri told Stuffunknown, ‘I think the voter of Karnataka has a better understanding of what causes them to vote in favor of a particular party. I don’t think such incidents will have any effect on people. Political parties can use them to grab headlines, but as you say in journalism, the voter will read the fine print. They will read the important things.
‘Santro Ravi’ accused of kidnapping and raping a minor girl
Originally from Mandya district of Karnataka, K.S. Manjunath alias ‘Santro Ravi’ is the son of a former state excise department official. Police say that Ravi has been actively working as a human trafficker since 1995. A senior officer said that his first encounter with the law was in 1988, when he forcibly abducted a minor girl, raped her and took her to a shrine to marry her while trying to hide the matter. However, he was arrested a few days later, but on the pretext of illness, K.R. He also absconded from the hospital.
How Manjunath got the name ‘Santro Ravi’
After living underground, Manjunath – who was not yet named Santro Ravi – used to promise jobs to women and then lure them into human trafficking. Ravi used to operate his illegal smuggling business from the then newly launched Santro car and soon Manjunath came to be known as ‘Santro Ravi’. SK Umesh, a senior retired ACP revealed, ‘The Santro car became very popular around the year 2000 and Manjunath also had the same car. It was actually his mobile office and all the transactions took place in it. It was the same police officer who had tracked Ravi’s human trafficking gang at that time and registered cases against him. ‘The Santro car was new in the market and Ravi drove it with pride. Umesh told Stuffunknown, ‘He used to drive it really fast and when the police reached to raid any place, he used to escape from the police.’
Code word was given to women after the name of their country
Later, Ravi gradually shifted his illegal work from Mysore to Bangalore city and started supplying women from many other states and countries for private parties. Umesh told that as part of his working methods, Ravi had fixed code words for the countries from where the women used to come. He said, ‘He used to call the women of Kazakhstan Mercedes Benz because they were tall and slim. The women of Malaysia and Singapore were called Audi. Similarly, he had kept different names like Jaguar and BMW for women coming from Bangladesh and Northeast.
Detailed inquiry ordered against ‘Santro Ravi’
Under attack from opposition parties, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on January 7 that he has ordered a detailed inquiry against KS Manjunath, known by the nickname ‘Santro Ravi’. Several photos of Ravi with Karnataka government ministers have come to the fore, on which the Congress has alleged that the ministers have a close relationship with him. It is also alleged that Ravi has a criminal background. Refuting Congress’ allegations, Bommai said, “You cannot decide on the basis of photographs, but the main issue is that there is a case against him (Ravi). A girl has filed a complaint against him. If the investigation is done, then all other cases will also come to the fore and this will help in the investigation of all of them.
Tags: Bangalore, Basavaraj Bommai, hd kumaraswamy, Karnataka
FIRST PUBLISHED : January 12, 2023, 21:51 IST