Mumbai: Jailed gangster Kumar Pillai wishes to learn drawing at JJ School of Art

Updated: Feb 24, 2018, 17:13 IST | Rahul Mahajani | Mumbai

Gangster Kumar Pillai currently lodged in Navi Mumbai's Taloja Jail, he has moved an application to the prison department, seeking permission to enrol in the drawing and fine arts course at JJ School of Art

The drawings gangster Kumar Pillai made in prison
The drawings gangster Kumar Pillai made in prison

When you think of Underworld, you think of hardened criminals. So, the 'soft' side of gangster Kumar Pillai will surely come as a surprise - currently lodged in Navi Mumbai's Taloja Jail, he has moved an application to the prison department, seeking permission to enrol in the drawing and fine arts course at JJ School of Art. He has attached a large number of drawings and sketches he's made inside prison.

The drawings gangster Kumar Pillai made in prison

In the application sent to the prison department on February 9, a copy of which is with mid-day, Pillai has said he has been interested in drawing for a long time and has kept himself busy with that in jail. To "further develop his creativity", he would like to take admission in the college, reads his application. This is Pillai's third attempt to get admission in the prestigious institute, with the previous two coming to naught.

Gangster Kumar Pillai
Gangster Kumar Pillai

Creative case
Mumbai Crime Branch officers who have questioned Pillai said he's very knowledgeable and has read a lot of books, many of which he brought with him when he came to India (after being extradited from Singapore).

Additional Director General of Police (prisons) B K Upadhyay said that usually they allow inmates to do courses in Open University but not take up regular ones. "I have not got his application; as and when I get it, a decision will be taken based on its merit," he added.

Who is Pillai?
Pillai entered the Underworld in the 90s to avenge the murder of his father Babu Pillai, an active member in the workers' union of the company he worked with in Vikhroli. He was initially associated with Ashwin Naik, working for the gang for nearly two years. When redevelopment of properties in the eastern suburbs began, he left and formed his own gang, which was active in Vikhroli and Bhandup.

Pillai fled the country in 2000. There was a red corner notice issued against him for his involvement in several extortion cases and those under arms act among others. He was extradited from Singapore in June 2016 by the Mumbai Crime Branch, after being apprehended from his residence there in January 2016, when the Mumbai police tipped off the Interpol about his presence. He had been staying there as a businessman and had a Hong Kong passport.

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