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Chargesheet filed against Iqbal Kaskar, aides

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>​The ​Thane ​Police ​Crime Branch on Tuesday filed ​a ​chargesheet against​ fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim’s brother Iqbal Kaskar and his aides​ under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) Court in Thane, in connection with the case ​in which ​Kaskar and his group was ​allegedly ​extorting ​flats and money from ​a builder. Dawood’s lieutenant Chhota Shakeel has been shown as ‘wanted’ in the chargesheet. The police probe revealed that strings of Kaskar’s group were being pulled by Shakeel who is currently believed to be hiding in Pakistan.According to the police sources, a 1,647-page chargesheet was filed in the court. The chargesheet comprises 67 witness statement and confessional statements of two persons as per Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). Two more persons are likely to give confessional statements in the case, police sources added.Chargesheet was filed against arrested accused persons – Iqbal Kaskar, Pankaj Gangar, Mumtaz Shaikh and Israr Jamil Ali Sayyed. It is alleged that Gangar, an angadia businessman, had been funding the gang to buy firearms.Chhota Shakeel and Bihar-based shooters Shammi Ansair and Guddu who used to visit the sites of builders and threaten them have been shown as ‘wanted’ in the case, sources said.“Our probe has revealed that Kaskar’s group had been receiving direct orders from Shakeel. The probe also revealed that the extortion money had been routed to Dubai,” said a police officer who was part of the probe team.

8 youth held for trespassing yellow zone near Ram bhoomi

The arrested youth have been identified as Mohd Wahid, Mohd Sayeed, Mohd Irfan, Mohd Sakir, Mohd Shakeel, Mohd Raza, Mohd Madani and Mohd Hussain <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Late on Friday night, eight Muslim youth from Rajasthan were arrested in Ayodhya after they tried to force their entry through the no-entry zone — known as yellow zone — at around 2 pm.The arrested youth have been identified as Mohd Wahid, Mohd Sayeed, Mohd Irfan, Mohd Sakir, Mohd Shakeel, Mohd Raza, Mohd Madani and Mohd Hussain, all aged between 20-30 years and residents of Nagaur district in Rajasthan.After multiple identity cards were found on their person, the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) interrogated the arrested persons and sought their details from Rajasthan police.”They were moving in a suspicious manner near a sensitive barrier of Ram Janmabhoomi complex. No one is allowed to enter or go near that barrier,” said an ATS officer.Moreover, timings for entry to the disputed complex for ‘darshan’ of Ram at the makeshift temple are fixed. “How these people went up to the barrier near Katra Police station is a matter of concern and investigation,” added the ATS officer.It was the same gate from where four Pak-trained terrorists had forced entry into the complex in 1995.

Dreaded criminal with links to don Chhota Shakeel nabbed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A sharpshooter who had links to underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s key aide Chhota Shakeel landed in Delhi Police’s net on Tuesday evening. The Shakeel henchman, wanted for plotting to eliminate Pakistani author Tarek Fatah, was nabbed after the police managed to intercept his conversations with his aide Junaid Choudhary, arrested earlier.The shooter, identified as Naseem alias Rizwan, was nabbed from northeast Delhi. Senior police officers said Rizwan had good contacts with the Mumbai underworld and was in regular touch with Shakeel and his men.“The team received an input that Naseem will be coming to Jafrabad area in northeast Delhi on Tuesday night. Rs 2 lakh in cash, which was part of money robbed at the Gokulpuri flyover, was also recovered from his possession,” Ajit Kumar Singla, Deputy Commissioner of Police (northeast) said. Naseem himself told the interrogators that he was in touch with Shakeel. The Special Cell of Delhi Police had earlier arrested his associate Choudhary, who was planning to target Pakistani writer Tarek Fateh, now based in Canada. The plan was to target him when he arrived in India.“A criminal in Bijnor, identified as Rashid, had arranged Naseem’s meeting with another gangster, Munna Singh, who is lodged in the Bijnor jail. During that meeting, plans were made to target high-profile businessmen and personalities in Andhra Pradesh. These criminals wanted to extort crores from these people. Shakeel had also instructed Naseem to eliminate a businessman in Dwarka,” the officer added.Naseem was involved in a robbery that took place at the Gokulpuri flyover. He lived in the New Mustafabad area of Delhi. Earlier, he used to sell garments on roadside. Later, he started meeting some criminals in his area and then killed one of them, in order to establish his supremacy. He went on killing and robbing people and got in touch with Shakeel through Choudhary.SHOOTER’S HISTORYNaseem was involved in a robbery that took place at the Gokulpuri flyover. Earlier, he used to sell garments on roadside. Later, he started meeting some criminals in his area and then killed one of them, in order to establish his supremacy

Dawood Ibrahim, brother Anees booked by Thane police in extortion racket

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After Chhota Shakeel, the Thane police in Maharashtra have booked underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and his brother Anees Ibrahim in an extortion racket.The development comes a fortnight after Dawood’s brother Iqbal Kaskar and two of his aides — Mumtaz Sheikh and Israr Ali Jamil Sayyad — were arrested by the Anti-Extortion Cell (AEC) of the Thane police, led by ‘encounter specialist’ Pradeep Sharma and his team, in an extortion case of Rs 30 lakh and four flats from a builder.Dawood and Anees have been named as a wanted accused in the extortion case that was registered on Tuesday.Thane police have booked Kaskar and his gang members in a fresh case of extorting Rs 3 crore from a prominent builder in north Mumbai. This is the third extortion case registered against Kaskar and his gang members after their arrest.Chhota Shakeel, whose role had also emerged in the extortion racket case, had already been declared a wanted accused.

Iqbal Kaskar was involved in construction ‘business’: Police

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Days after the arrest of fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim’s brother Iqbal Kaskar and his two aides in connection with the extortion of a builder and a jeweller in Thane, the police have now come across Kaskar’s construction ‘business’ as well.According to police sources, apart from extortion, Kaskar is allegedly involved in a construction ‘business’ wherein he would threaten tenants to vacate their flats for redevelopment. The police on Friday had questioned Kaskar’s partner, a builder from Mumbai who would take contracts of construction work for redevelopment or development projects.The police said, Kaskar was allegedly in a sleeping partnership with the builder. The latter would use Kaskar and Dawood’s name to threaten landowners or tenants, and would take help of other aides of Kaskar to forcefully vacate their premises where he would carry out redevelopment. In return, the builder would give a commission or a profit margin to Kaskar in cash.”We have questioned the builder and it has been revealed that he was running a construction business with Kaskar. Although Kaskar had not invested in the business; he would get a large profit margin in every project. All the transactions were made in cash and we are trying to trace the money trail,” said a police officer.The police are also on the lookout for one RC Angadia, who on behalf of gangster Chhota Shakeel, would collect money from the fourth accused, Pankaj Gangar arrested in the case.Gangar would provide Rs 15 lakh to Angadia for Shakeel, who is in Pakistan, through hawala channels. The police suspects that Shakeel is also running a matka betting racket in Mumbai and other cities and the money would be sent by the accused as his commission in the business.”The Angadia operator and another middleman will be arrested soon. Our team is also in Bihar to look for two of Kaskar’s shooters and raids are being conducted at several locations there with the help of a Special Task Force. The shooters are hiding at the Nepal border,” said another senior officer.

Iqbal Kaskar’s financier Pankaj Gangar arrested

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Thane police on Thursday arrested a fourth accused, Pankaj Gangar, who allegedly provided finances for the extortion racket run by fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim’s brother and his two associates.Gangar, who ran a matka betting operation in Borivli, would also send money to gangster Chhota Shakeel every month through hawala channels.Gangar has several prior cases against him and has been previously booked under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).Police sources alleged that Gangar is a known financier for the underworld, and was also financing Arun Gawali gang members.Gangar’s arrest could blow the lid of the extortion racket’s hawala links, police said. He allegedly provided logistics and finances for the extortion racket on the instructions of Shakeel and Iqbal Kaskar. Gangar sends Rs 12 lakh per month to Shakeel through hawala channels, police sources claimed.”Gangar would arrange accommodation for shooters from Bihar and would provide arms and ammunition. He also had arms in his possession illegally, which we will seize. He was continuously in touch with Shakeel,” said an officer.Police officers claimed that the gang had invested in property outside the state with the extorted money and they are now in the process of tracking the money trail.”It has been also been revealed during interrogation that the two of Kaskar’s associates arrested by us spent large amounts of cash at a dance bar in Mulund,” the officer said.

Congress alleges ‘pre-planned conspiracy’ between BJP, JD(U)

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Congress on Thursday alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Janata Dal (United) JD(U) hatched a pre-planned conspiracy to topple ?mahagadhbandhan? led Bihar Government. JD-U leader Nitish Kumar, who resigned as Bihar Chief Minister on Wednesday, again took oath as Bihar Chief Minister on Thursday with BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi taking oath as Deputy Chief Minister. Reacting on the new political development in Bihar, senior Congress leader Shakeel Ahmad said that the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) should have been invited to form government in Bihar for being the single largest party in the state. Speaking to ANI here, Shakeel Ahmad said, “Nitish Kumar?s party did not have more numbers than the RJD so the Governor should have asked others to prove their majority, but it was pre-scripted. From Delhi to Bihar, it is a planned conspiracy.? He further said that Congress had supported Nitish as he was against Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP Government. ?We did not expect this from Nitish ji. Once he was against Modi ji and that time Congress supported him but he betrayed us,” said Shakeel. Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge also alleged that BJP is using every tactic to break the Opposition. ?Those who demanded votes in the name of secularism today have joined the ones who believed in dictorial politics,” said Kharge Bihar is witnessing upheaval soon after Nitish Kumar resigned on Wednesday evening and termed his alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) as unnatural. Nitish Kumar and BJP leader Sushil Modi took oath as Bihar Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister respectively today.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Kritika Chowdhury was killed for Rs 6K, 2 arrested

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Almost a month after the murder of model and actress Kritika Chowdhury, the Amboli police have solved the case by arresting two persons on Sunday midnight.The police said the accused were known to the victim and one of them is a drug peddler who would supply drugs to Kritika. The police source claimed that she was killed because did not pay the due money Rs 6000.They came to ask for money in that heated argument they hit her with knuckle duster and ran away.One of the accused Shakeel Khan, 33, resident of Panvel was nabbed from Panvel, while other, Basu Das from Govandi.According to police, Khan was known to the deceased actor for last one and a half year and would deliver drugs (MD) to Kritika on behalf of one Sunny who was arrested by the Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC) with 2.5 Kg mephedrone recently. The police said Khan was also arrested by the police for peddling drugs and stealing bikes and was lodged in jail from August 2016 to November 2016. Kritika owed the accused Rs 6,000, since he was in jail she was not able to return the money which led to a dispute between the two.On the eventful night, Khan arrived at her residence, along with Das, and asked Kritika to return his money. The late actor refused and threatened him of calling neighbours and police, following which a scuffle broke-out between them. In a fit of rage Khan hit Kritika with a knuckle duster causing her death,said police.”The accused had left his blood stained shirt at the spot, which was the major lead for us. We tracked the accused through the brand of the shirt. Khan and Das were also captured on the CCTV camera installed on roads and near Kritika’s apartment,” said police officer requesting anonymity.The two accused were later produced in the court which sent them to police remand for seven days.ACTRESS’ PROFILEKritika Chaudhary hailed from Haridwar in Uttarakhand
She had appeared in a small role in the Kangana Ranaut-starrer film Rajjo, which released in 2013.
She had also worked in TV serials. Her body was found in her apartment in Andheri.

Clash over garbage disposal in Seemapuri; 7 injured

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A clash broke out between two groups following an argument over throwing garbage in Seemapuri area of north east Delhi today, with both sides using knives and stones to attack each other, police said. The incident took place when Shakir, a contractor, was cleaning a pipeline in the area along with two of his workers. He then got into an argument with Shakeel when the latter started throwing garbage in the area, they said. The argument soon turned into a brawl with each side calling more men, police said, adding the groups started attacking ecah other with knives and stones. The incident has left seven persons injured, they said, adding the injured are being treated. The police said the matter was being probed.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Khandwali mourns Junaid, wears black bands during Eid namaz

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Eid has lost all its meaning, residents of Faridabad’s Khandwali village said today as they mourned the loss of their “son” Junaid by wearing black bands during the special morning namaz. Four days after 17-year-old Junaid was killed on his way back from Delhi after Eid shopping, despair hung like a shroud over the village with Muslim residents wondering if “the spate of lynchings” would ever end. “We could not have celebrated Eid with the usual sense of joy considering how Junaid was killed. So we decided to mark our protest by wearing black bands around our arms,” Shakeel, a resident of Khandawli in Ballabgarh near Delhi, told reporters. He claimed Muslims of neighbouring villages were also protesting the incident by wearing black bands during the Eid morning prayers. Junaid was stabbed to death on June 22 on a Mathura-bound train, which he had taken with his two brothers after shopping at Delhi’s Sadar Bazar. A group of men hurled communal slurs at the boys and attacked them after an altercation, allegedly over seats. “When will this stop? After every such incident, the government offers some compensation and people move on. But the question is, will it ever stop?” asked a villager in his 20s. He also questioned the efficacy of the administration in acting against the accused, wondering why only one arrest had been made in four days. Before being remanded to police custody by a court in Faridabad district on Saturday, the accused had told reporters that he was in an inebriated state at the time of the incident and had attacked the teenager after being allegedly instigated by fellow passengers.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Chhota Shakeel’s shooter given further three-day police remand

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A Delhi Court on Tuesday sent gangster Chhota Shakeel’s shooter Junaid Chowdhary to further three-day police remand. Chowdhary was arrested by the special cell of the Delhi Police near Gagan Cinema in Delhi earlier on June 7. “Junaid was allegedly hatching a plan to kill Pakistan born Canadian writer and liberal activist Tarek Fateh,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Pramod Singh Kushwaha. The police claimed to have recovered a country made pistol and four live cartridges from Junaid’s possession. Earlier, he was apprehended on June 3, along with three other contract killers, identified as Robinson, Yunus and Manish following which they were sent to police remand and interrogated for five days. Later, they were produced in a court which sent them to judicial custody. Their plan was initially to kill Rajan while on transit to or from court before and after hearings, but that was later changed to attack him during his hospital visits. Earlier, the police had found many audio clips of Chhota Shakeel from Junaid’s mobile phone.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Chhota Shakeel’s ‘shooter’ who was plotting to kill Pakistani writer Tarek Fateh, to appear before Delhi court today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gangster Chhota Shakeel’s shooter and aide Junaid Chowdhry will appear before the Patiala House Court on Monday.The Patiala House Court on Friday had sent gangster Chowdhry to three-day police custody.Chowdhry was arrested by the Special cell of the Delhi Police near Gagan Cinema in Delhi on June 7.”Junaid was allegedly hatching a plan to kill Pakistan born Canadian writer and liberal activist Tarek Fateh,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Pramod Singh Kushwaha.The police claimed to have recovered a country made pistol and four live cartridges from Junaid’s possession.Earlier, he was apprehended on June 3, along with three other contract killers, identified as Robinson, Yunus and Manish following which they were sent to police remand and interrogated for five days.Later, they were produced in a court which sent them to judicial custody.Their plan was initially to kill Rajan while on transit to or from court before and after hearings, but that was later changed to attack him during his hospital visits.Earlier, the police had found many audio clips of Chhota Shakeel from Junaid’s mobile phone.

Chhota Shakeel’s shooter sent to three-day police custody

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Patiala House Court on Friday sent gangster Chhota Shakeel’s shooter Junaid Chowdhry to a 3-day police custody. Chowdhry was arrested by the Special cell of the Delhi Police near Gagan Cinema in Delhi on Wednesday night. “Junaid was allegedly hatching a plan to kill Pakistan born Canadian writer and liberal activist Tarek Fateh,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Pramod Singh Kushwaha. The police claimed to have recovered a country made pistol and four live cartridges from Junaid’s possession. Earlier, he was apprehended on June 3, along with three other contract killers, identified as Robinson, Yunus and Manish following which they were sent to police remand and interrogated for five days. Later, they were produced in a court which sent them to judicial custody. Their plan was initially to kill Rajan while on transit to or from court before and after hearings, but that was later changed to attack him during his hospital visits. Earlier, the police had found many audio clips of Chhota Shakeel from Junaid’s mobile phone.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Chhota Shakeel’s aide arrested, was planning to target Tarek

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Police’s Special Cell has arrested an aide of gangster Chhota Shakeel, who was planning to target Pakistan-born Canadian writer Tarek Fatah. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) P S Kushwah said Junaid Chowdhry was nabbed on the intervening night of 7 and 8 June from Wazirabad road in north-east Delhi. Though the DCP refused to divulge details of the target, a senior police officer, on the condition of anonymity, said Chowdhry was planning to target the writer, known for his controversial remarks. Even though Fatah was not in Delhi, the aide was here to carry out a recce, he said. Chowdhry was arrested in June last year along with three others with arms and hawala money sent by Shakeel, but was released on bail within four months. They had been planning to kill Hindu Sabha chief Swami Chakrapani at that time. He contacted Shakeel again but after his bail was cancelled he was sent to Tihar. Later, he was again released on bail and once more got in touch with Shakeel. Chowdhry then started carrying out the gangster’s Delhi- based activities. He is currently being interrogated.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Woman wrote note claiming Chhota Shakeel planning blasts to

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A note claiming that gangster Chhota Shakeel has sent some people from Pakistan to carry out blasts in India was found to be a handiwork of a woman who allegedly tried to frame her ex-boyfriend, the police said today. They said there was no terror angle involved. 24-year-old Shivani Bhingarde on June 2 approached the Railway Protection Force (RPF) at Dadar railway station with a pouch, which she claimed was found on a bridge, they said. Police said they went into a tizzy after finding a handwritten note in the pouch claiming that the gangster has sent some persons from Pakistan to carry out bomb blasts in Mumbai and Pune. It was also mentioned in the note that a Pune-based bauxite dealer, Muzaffar Shah, will help carry out the blasts, they said. The government railway police, the RPF and the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) were alerted and asked to verify the note’s authenticity, police said. The Maharashtra ATS traced Shah from Pune on June 2 on the basis of his mobile numbers written in the note and questioned him on next two days. The woman was also questioned on June 4, they said. They found that the threat was a hoax and Shivani herself had written this note to put Shah in a trouble, police said. Shivani admitted that she wrote the note in a fit of anger and whatever written in the note is not true, they said. During their interrogation no terror angle was found, an ATS official said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Action against illegal abattoirs gets support from meat assn

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Yogi Adityanath government’s crackdown on slaughterhouses has found an unusual supporter in All India Meat Association, which has hailed the Chief Minister for following his “raj dharma”. “Meat traders were subjected to injustice by the BSP and SP governments, the new chief minister is following his raj dharma, and it is wrong to comment on the one who is pursuing his raj dharma (the duty of the rulers). “He is trying to bring the system back on track and needs to be thanked,” representative of All India Meat Association and All India Meat and Livestock Exporters’ Association Haji Shakeel Qureshi said today. Returning here after a meeting with UP Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh in Lucknow, he said action is being taken only against illegal slaughterhouses and there is no report of action on any legal abattoir. Rooting for making the process of legalising the illegal slaughterhouses easy, Qureshi said old abattoirs should be modernised quickly. He also lamented that the files seeking renewal of licences of meat sellers were pending with district administrations for months.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

RSS follows Britishers’ policy of divide and rule Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Congress on Friday drew comparisons between the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Britishers over the saffron wing minister?s announcement on Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, saying the former is following the footsteps of the latter by resorting to divide and rule policy. ?This is RSS?s policy of benefitting their political wing BJP by dividing the society. This is RSS?s old policy of first, saying a thing and then contradicting it. RSS follows the same policy of divide and rule, as was followed by the Britishers.? Congress general secretary Shakeel Ahmad told ANI. RSS leader Kundan Chandrawat yesterday offered Rs. one crore to anyone who would bring Kerala Chief Minister’s head. “If anyone beheads the Kerala CM, who is the murderer of RSS activists, and brings his head I will bequeath my property worth more than Rs. one crore to him,” he said. However, the right-wing condemned the minister?s statement, saying it doesn?t subscribe to views advocating violence. “The RSS doesn’t subscribe to any views advocating violence and strongly condemn it. Attached statement is loud and clear”, said RSS spokesperson Manmohan Vaidya in a statement.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

The fall of the underworld

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India’s financial capital Mumbai, known for Bollywood, is as much known for the underworld. By the mid-nineties, Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Rajan emerged as the two main characters in the underworld or organised crime syndicate of Mumbai.The city had witnessed the tales of their friendship, rivalry and the blood that they spilled on the streets. However, the underworld, which once used to give sleepless nights to the police, businessmen and builders, appears to be gradually dying.In 2016, the Mumbai Police registered five cases under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), of which only two were related to the underworld. DNA takes a look at what led to the fall of Mumbai’s underworld.In 2016, 41 persons were arrested by the Mumbai Police in MCOCA-related cases, of which four were having allegiance with Dawood Ibrahim’s gang, also known as D-Gang or D-Company, according Mumbai Police statistics. The statistics also show that the Hemant Pujari, Arun Gawli, Pandav Putra and Kumar Pillai gangs have been lying dormant for the past three years.With only two underworld-related cases registered in 2016, one would wonder what has led to this drastic decline in underworld activities? Is it because of the police crackdown or has the underworld changed its style of functioning? Or is there a shift in interest?The police say one of the main reasons is shortage of shooters. “Earlier, gangs used to handpick shooters from Uttar Pradesh. The Ravi Pujari gang used to handpick shooters from Dombivli, Konkan, Mangalore, and Azamgarh in UP. The shooters used to carry out audacious attacks for Rs 5,000-10,000. What has always hurt shooters the most is that while the gang leader used to extort crores from the victims, the shooters would only get a few thousands,” said a Mumbai Crime Branch officer.He said that, last month, the city crime branch sleuths arrested two men – Anksuh Indulkar and Sagar Chavan – who were supposed to bump off an Oshiwara-based builder-cum-businessman at the behest of gangster Ejaz Lakdawala. While Lakdawala reportedly demanded an extortion money of Rs 2 crore from the builder, the shooters were promised Rs 5,000, the officer said. Both Indulkar and Chavan were involved in petty crimes earlier and their desperation for money made them accept the offer, the police said.Additional Commissioner of Police, Mumbai Crime Branch, KMM Prasanna, says: “MCOCA is a draconian Act. Now, if a person involved in underworld fires upon someone, the shooter could be jailed for at least 20 years and minimum 10 years, if the victim survives.”Prasanna attributed the diminishing underworld activities to the sustained and continuous police crackdown. “In the past three years, we have arrested at least 50 persons associated with the Ravi Pujari gang. In August 2014, the Pujari gang attempted to fire at film producer Karim Morani, but the bullets hit a parked car. The same gang tried to target filmmakers Mahesh and Mukesh Bhatt, but the gang members were caught before they could execute their plans. As many as 11 members of the gang were arrested and this was a major setback to Ravi Pujari,” he said.The crime branch had arrested 87 persons in the past three years, associated with various underworld gangs. “Some of the big blows which the police dealt to the underworld include busting a Chhota Shakeel gang that was supposed to target Chhota Rajan’s Ganesh Mandal at Tilak Nagar. In February last year, we arrested fugitive gangster Guru Satam’s son Bhushan. Gangsters like Chhota Rajan, Kumar Pillai and Santosh Shetty are already behind bars. Getting Rajan back was a big catch. Apart from this, we are now concentrating on arrested old-timers and trusted lieutenants of gangs. We recently arrested one Danny from Uttaranchal. He was one the most trusted men of Rajan and his name had cropped up during the probe into the Kala Ghoda shootout in 2006,” said Prasanna.Asked why the D-gang is not into extortion the way they used to be in the 90s, a senior police officer said: “The D-gang has diversified investments and is getting into other businesses. Dawood runs his organisation like a full-fledged company. Other gangs cannot be compared to it. Others are still into the business of extortion, simply because, at the end of the day, they want money by show of muscle power.”A Crime Branch officer, who has been instrumental in busting several modules of the Ravi Pujari gang, says that the informant network of police plays a pivotal role in tackling underworld. “For the past many decades, we have been heavily relying on informants to gather intelligence on underworld operatives. It is very important for us to protect our informants, as in many cases in the past, we have seen that once the informant gets exposed, he has to pay the price with his life,” said the officer.”Informant network does helps us, but now even constables are bringing information. Men in field units are pumping in information, while the Anti-Extortion Cell works on the information and prevents underworld operations,” says Prasanna.Being cheated by their own men is another reason. “A gang exists till the time there is a leader and followers. There cannot be a leader without followers. A leader’s work is to mobilise workers, and if the leader himself is outside, there will be no fear among the foot soldiers. We have come across several instances wherein a lot of people have taken money for carrying out works, but have not executed them. The gangs have been facing these bad debts helplessly,” said Prasanna.With Rajan and Pillai already in the net, expectations are very high that Dawood and Shakeel would also be brought to book. “Efforts are on,” said Prasanna.Statistics for the storyCases registered by Crime Branch and Police Stations Under MCOCACases registered by Crime Branch and Police Stations Under MCOCA
Gangsters still at largeEjaz Lakdawala: An ex-student of Bandra’s St Stanislaus school, Ejaz Lakdawala started out as an employee in his uncle’s transport company. In 1993, he killed one Haren Mehta during an altercation at a cricket match. He was arrested, imprisoned and acquitted in 1995. In the prison, he met one Sunil Madgaonkar alias Matya, who gave Lakdawala the supari to kill alleged Chhota Shakeel aide Farid Rajji. Rajji survived the attempt on his life in 1996 and Lakdawala was arrested and sent to the Nashik jail, from where he escaped in 1998 and fled to Malaysia. He later joined Chhota Rajan and after that formed his own gang.Ravi Pujari: A school dropout, he speaks English, Hindi, Kannada and Tulu. He started his criminal career from the Andheri area in Mumbai in the mid-1990s and targets only film personalities and businessmen of the western suburbs in Mumbai. Initially, he was a small-time criminal before he joined gangster Chhota Rajan and moved to Dubai in the late 1990s. After that, he started extorting builders and hoteliers. He wanted to make his own name in the underworld. So he separated from Rajan around a decade ago and now operates his own gang.

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