Police on Friday took custody of a suspected aide of fugitive underworld don Ravi Pujari and his accomplice from their Gujarat counterparts in connection with the firing on a hotel in suburban Vile Parle in Mumbai last year. Police revealed Pujari had given Rs 5 lakh for the operation, which was aimed at extorting money from the hotelier.
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Suresh Pillai (46) and Mohd Sabir Noor Mohd Momin (50) were brought to Mumbai from Gujarat by the Anti-Extortion Cell (AEC) of Mumbai Police, an official said. They were produced before a court, which remanded them in police custody till February 15.
Gujarat Police had last month arrested Pillai and Momin in connection with a bid on the life of Pragnesh Patel, an independent councillor of Borsad municipality in Anand district.
The Vile-Parle case pertains to firing of a round at the premises of Hotel Gajalee in October last year.
According to the police, one of the two men had entered near the parcel counter and dropped a card with one of the waiters before fleeing on a bike waiting outside.
The official said Momin was driving the bike and it was Mrityunjay Das who had allegedly fired the shot. Das (34) was arrested along with Suresh Pujari alias Suresh Anna (54) and Ramesh Kitta Pujari (49) on February 6 by AEC.
The official said it was Pillai who was managing the operation and was in constant touch with Ravi Pujari over phone on the latter’s international cell number.
He said Rs 5 lakh was distributed equally among the five members. On the Gujarat councillor firing case, the official said the accused were promised Rs 25 lakh and an advance of Rs 20,000 was given to each member of the gang.
Besides Pillai, Momin, and Das, Suresh Anna (54) and Pujari (49) were also allegedly involved in the attack on Patel, allegedly ordered by the don after a ‘contract’ was given by Patel’s political rival.
When contacted, DCP (Detection) Vinay Rathod said, “We have brought the remaining two accused (Pillai and Momin) in the Vile Parle firing case. They were remanded in police custody till February 15. Further investigation is on.”