Agni Sridhar, reformed underworld don and once a close-aide of Muthappa Rai, who passed away on Friday, 15 May, has condoled the death of former friend. He was aged 68 and survived by wife and two sons.
Sridhar on Rai
Speaking to The International Business Times (IBT Media), Sridhar said, "I am sad and he should have been with us for a few more years. I was pained when came to know that he was suffering from cancer. He went through a lot of physical pain," the former don-turned-journalist said, stating that he faced lots of problems in life.
"He messaged on the day he got admitted at the hospital from Delhi stating he was suffering from the deadly disease and told me that chances of his survival was less," Sridhar, who is also a filmmaker, told the IBT Media.
Reconnected 8 Months Ago
In the last couple of years, Agni Sridhar, in numerous of interviews, have confessed that he had lost touch with Muthappa Rai for decades and neither there was friendship nor enemity between them. "A common friend helped us to reconnect," the filmmaker says about how he got in touch with Rai eight months ago.
Recalling his initial meeting, Sridhar said, "I think it was during the beginning of 1990s when he pressurised me and my aides to meet him. It was during the cold-war days between him and late Oil Kumar (original name: Benakanahalli Alappa Shivakumar), a big name in Bengaluru underworld in 80s. He knew that we would never join hands with Kumar. So, he wanted us to meet him.
Friendship Didn't Last Long
Then, we were close friends for three years, but due to a couple of issues we ended our friendship and we never got opportunity to meet again,"
Sridhar says he and his aides had made a name in the underworld after Jayaraj's assasination. "We did not need him, but he wanted us to be with him. He told me 'Sridhar, you are an intelligent person and I want you to be with me as I do not know the modus operandi of underworld.' He had entered the underworld because of cops," he ends, pointing it out that Sridhar and his friends had lost interest in the underworld.
Muthappa Rai was wanted in eight cases before he was deported to India in 2002. He was acquitted in all the charges due to lack of evidences. Thereafter, he reformed to serve the people through 'Jaya Karnataka.
Sridhar Runs Agni
On the other hand, Sridhar founded Agni tabloid and started expressing his views on contemporary political and issues plaguing the society. The Kannada movie, Aa Dingalu was based on his book titled Daadagiriya Dingalu. In this movie, directed by KM Chaitanya, Rai was projected as a superstious man
Sridhar turned filmmaker with Thamassu.