Born in 1944, Manya Surve moved to Mumbai with his mother and stepfather. He was a B. A. graduate from Kirti College and formed a gang of students during his years there, due to the influence of his stepbrother Bhargav Dada. Bhargav was a feared thug from Agar Bazar in Dadar. He also won "Mumbai Shri" title in body building. In 1969, Surve was involved in the murder of a man named Dandekar, with him and an associate, Manya Podhkar. The trio were soon arrested by Police Inspector E.S. Dabholkar and were subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment. Imprisonment and escape
While incarcerated at the Yerwada Central Jail in Pune, Manya Surve developed a fierce rivalry with another gangster, Suhas Bhatkar a.k.a. "Potya Bhai". Annoyed by Surve’s terror tactics, the prison authorities had him transferred to Ratnagiri jail. There, he took part in a hunger strike and lost almost 20 kg, before being shifted to the local civil hospital. Surve utilised this opportunity to successfully evade custody on 14 November 1979, and returned to Mumbai, having served over nine years of his sentence. Mumbai underworld
After his return to Mumbai, Surve formed a gang of robbers and recruited his two trusted lieutenants, Sheikh Munir from Dharavi and Vishnu Patil from Dombivili. They were soon joined by another hood, Uday Shetty in March, 1980. The gang's first robbery took place on 5 April 1980, in which they stole an Ambassador car. The vehicle was later used to loot 5,700 from Laxmi Trading Company near Currey Road. On 15 April, the gang savagely assaulted and almost killed Sheikh Aziz, an enemy of Sheikh Munir, near Kala Killa in the Dharavi slum. On 30 April, they stabbed two police constables when they were escorting gang rival, Vijay Ghadge to a police station in Dadar. The motive of attack was that these cops were enemies of Prakash Misal, associate of Manya. Borrowing the plot from a James Hadley Chase novel which he had read in prison, Surve decided to loot money...
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