Former underworld don and founder of not-for-profit Jaya Karnataka, Muthappa Rai passed away in the early hours of Friday at 2 am after battling cancer for two years, International Business Times, India, learned from an official source. The reformed social activist's condition was critical on Wednesday. Rai had been diagnosed with brain cancer while undergoing treatment for liver cancer.
The news of Muthappa Rai's death was confirmed by Sumanth Billava, Jaya Karnataka, BTM Constituency President. The social activist and a known figure in the state of Karnataka breathed his last in Bengaluru's Manipal Hospital, where he was admitted earlier this week.
The 68-year-old philanthropist who reformed his image of an underworld don dedicated his recent years in the social service of people of Karnataka through his not-for-profit organization Jaya Karnataka. Rai was surrounded by his family and well-wishers in his last moments.
Rai's cancer diagnosis
Muthappa Rai was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2018. After showing signs of improvement, he was then diagnosed with brain cancer and doctors gave Rai a few years. Since his diagnosis, Rai moved to his farmhouse in Bidadi, away from public life as he wanted to spend his days in peace. He also resigned as Jaya Karnataka chief and from his post as Karnataka Athletic Association president.
Despite his terminal illness, Rai had a positive outlook towards life. Even as he continued his social work, he asserted he was not afraid of death and was living entirely on will power. In one of his interviews, he had said that he survived after being hit by five bullets.
Rai is survived by two children and his wife. His first wife Rekha died in 2013, post which he tied the knot again with Anuradha in 2018.
Who was Muthappa Rai?
Before turning around his life to become a full-time social worker and philanthropist, Rai was associated with a series of crimes. The Karnataka police had issued warrants against Rai in eight cases under Sections 302 (murder) and 120B (conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, the Arms Act, and the Explosive Substances Act. In 2002, Rai was deported to India by Dubai Police. But due to lack of evidence to prove his involvement in various crimes such as extortion, land possession, and links to Dawood Ibrahim, he was acquitted.
Rai was recently questioned by the special investigating team (SIT), headed by Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), Sandeep Patil in relation to the builder Subbaraju murder case.