Former underworld don Muthappa Rai(68) died early this morning in Bengaluru. He is survived by two sons Rocky Rai and Vicky Rai.
Suffering from brain cancer for the last one year, Rai had been hospitalised a few days ago and was on a life supporting system. He breathed his last at 2 am on Friday.
Rai will be cremated later this afternoon.
His eldest son Rocky is settled in Canada and is unlikely to come to attend the funeral. His another son Vicky was with Rai in Bengaluru when he passed away.
He left behind a vast empire with business interests in real estate and hospitality in India and abroad.
A former bank employee, Rai took to underworld in the late 1970s and established himself in no time.
He is said to be the first to introduce gun culture in the otherwise sword and machette weilding Bengaluru underworld in the mid 1980s.
He later shifted his base to Mumbai and Dubai where he established himself as a businessman while continuing his underworld operations.
Accused in murder of a realtor Subbaraju in 2001, Rai was deported to India in 2002.
Subsequently, he was cleared in all cases by the courts. For the last two decades, he claimed to have quit the underworld and got involved in social work through Jaya Karnataka, a non political organisation, through which he created an army of followers.
He was quite popular in organising the Kambala (buffalo slush race) in his native Puttur in Dakshina Kannada. He was also the President of the Karnataka Atheletics Association.
Noted filmmaker Ram Gopal Verma is making a film on Rai. Actor Vivek Oberoi will be seen playing the role of the don in the film Greatest Gangster Ever.