The killing of 27-year-old Aravind alias Lee at the football stadium on September 12 shook Bengaluru city. The incident was the latest in a series of murders resulting from a gang feud between two families in east Bengaluru, which actually began following a disagreement over the choice of a song to be played at a funeral in February 2013.
Reportedly, before Aravind’s murder, four killings were reported as a result of the ongoing feud since 2013. The warring groups include the family and associates of a former local criminal Daniel Raj, and another local goon named Vinod Raj. Daniel was killed in February 2013 in the slums of KG Halli in east Bengaluru and in connection with this, in November 2014 Vindo was killed.
An India Express report stated that one of the key accused in the murder of Aravind, a player and coach of the Karthick Dilip Football Club, is Stalin Daniel, son of Daniel Raj. While Aravind was associated with the Vinod Raj gang. However, the local police have named Stalin Daniel among the assailants in the case, and have arrested him and three others. They are looking for a few others suspected to be involved in the murder.
A police officer from the East Bengaluru division in connection with the case told IE, that the origin of this running feud is not over area domination, drugs or any other criminal activity, it started as a feud over a choice of song to be played at a funeral in 2013. “These murders have occurred over petty issues,” the officer added.
When killed Daniel was 40-year-old and as per police records, he had a criminal record and was killed during the mourning period for the death of the grandmother of Vinod’s wife on February 2, 2013.
Reportedly, at the funeral ceremony, a drunken Daniel and an associate named Arun, created a ruckus over a song that was played and they assaulted the mother and Vinod’s wife.
On the same night, along with his gang members including his brother, Vinod allegedly killed Daniel, police and court records state. In a revenge attack carried out by Daniel’s family, including his wife and then 19-year-old son Stalin, Vinod was murdered on November 23, 2014. The incident took place within KG Halli police limits.
However, years later, the feud surfaced once again in February 2019. A man named Prashant Raj alias Prashant Kumar, 30, Vinod’s other brother was murdered within the Banaswadi police limits by a gang of over 20 people. The accused were allegedly Vinod’s killers, Prashant’s wife told the police.
IE reported that in 2017, Prashant and Aravind were allegedly hired by a then personal aide of the BJP leader and former CM B S Yediyurappa to kidnap a personal aide of the BJP leader K S Eshwarappa. They were reportedly hired to extract a video from Eshwarappa’s aide’s phone.
In May 2020, the fourth murder in the feud occurred when 39-year-old Mariya Dilip alias Bijju an accused in the Daniel Raj murder, was killed. The killing was allegedly carried out over fears of an impending attack by the Vinod Raj gang for the 2019 murder of Prasant.
However, latest murder in the family feud is of Aravind who was killed at the Bengaluru Football Stadium on September 12. He was associated with the Vinod Raj gang and his murder was reportedly an effort to prevent an attack over the 2020 Mariya Dilip murder.
Police sources have told IE that a few months ago, Aravind was arrested for assaulting Stalin Daniel’s brother Subhash. He had also allegedly assaulted other associates of Stalin and they decided to kill him before he attacked them again, sources said.
Aravind had as many as 14 cases against him and most of these against him were for assaults that occurred following disputes over football matches.
Aravind was managing and playing for the Karthick Dilip Football Club in east Bengaluru area and it was named after gang members like Mariya Dilip who had supported the local club.