THE MUMBAI police probing the case of the threat allegedly received by the owner of the Vile Parle sea-food restaurant Gajalee Friday, are checking if the threat was actually made by a gangster, or someone using his name to make a quick buck. The police have in the past found cases where local small time criminals make extortion attempts in the name of gangsters. So far the police have not been able to make any arrests in the case.
The incident had taken place Friday night when two unidentified persons allegedly ‘fired’ at a staffer of the Vile Parle-based restaurant. The duo, who came on a bike, gave a card to the staffer asking him to tell the restaurant owner to call up on the number if he wanted to stay alive.
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An investigating officer said they are checking with the owner, Madhukar Shetty, who lives in the same building as the restaurant, to find out if he had received any threat calls from the gangster whose name had been invoked by the duo. “Normally in his case, the gangster asks his men to fire in the vicinity of the target and call up the person to tell him that the next time they will be shot if money was not paid up. The possibility of someone else having made the call cannot be ruled out. There have been cases in the past where small timers have been arrested using the name of gangsters, as their name invokes fear, to collect extortion money.”
Senior inspector Raksha Maharao of Vile Parle police, where an FIR was registered, said that so far there has been no development in the case. “We have not been able to track down the men who came on the bike. Investigations are on and we should be able to track them down soon,” Maharao said without revealing if the police had any strong leads in the case. Along with the local police, the Anti Extortion Cell of the Mumbai crime branch is investigating the matter.
Earlier, the two men who had come on a bike around 10.40pm to the restaurant told the employee, “Tere andar ke baap ko dena aur call nahi kiya toh upar bhej denge. (Give it to your boss and if he doesn’t call, we will murder him).” After leaving the card, he pulled out a pistol-like weapon aiming at the attendant and left soon after. While no one heard any firing, one of the attendants found a bullet shell while cleaning the floor later on after which the approached the police.