The Bapurao Jagtap Marg, which leads to Byculla railway station, hosted four weddings on Saturday. Three of the weddings were dwarfed by the celebrations taking place in Dagdi Chawl, where an extravagant function was under way for the wedding of gangster-turned-politician Arun Gawli’s son Mahesh.
“It was a wedding in the Gawli family, they are like celebrities here. It was a grand affair,” said Suresh Gupta, a neighbour.
At the main enclosure in Turf Club, Mahalaxmi Race Course, more than 750 guests attended the wedding on Saturday. The ceremony took place at 2 pm and Gawli was seen in his typical white attire interacting with his guests.
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In addition to colourful decor, flowers and red carpets laid, Gawli’s building had more than 100 large bulbs fixed on its sides.
According to family members, Mahesh Gawli (27) married Krutika Ahir (20), a resident of Nagpur, who studied at Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar College and is a professional Bharatnatyam dancer. Mahesh, who has been trying his hand at real estate, had met Krutika at a marriage ceremony in Nagpur, relatives said.
Gawli’s daughter Geeta, a corporator at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), said, “We are very happy for the couple”. Sachin Ahir, Gawli’s nephew, was seen taking numerous photographs and selfies with guests and locals.
Gawli, who has been granted 15-day parole from Nagpur jail to attend the function in Mumbai, is believed to be closely watched by the Mumbai Police.
According to senior police officers, no “formal bandobast” was arranged for the Gawli wedding, but officers shared that they were “monitoring all activities”.
“For a fortnight, until Gawli returns to Nagpur Central Jail, security arrangements have been made. Though the gangs that once tormented Mumbai are relatively dormant now, there is a possibility that the undercurrents of the underworld might resurface,” claimed a police officer.
Police also said that officers from various crime branch units were roped in and traffic personnel too were kept in the loop to avoid any traffic snarl.
Apart from uniformed police personnel, a marksman and police’s combat vehicle were stationed at the venue.