Eleven men were on Wednesday convicted of the murder of Farid Tanasha, a top aide of gangster Chhota Rajan, in 2010. While six, including the assailants who barged into Tanasha’s house in Tilak Nagar on June 2, 2010 and shot him dead, were sentenced to life imprisonment, five others were sentenced to 10 years in jail by a special court.
According to the prosecution, accused Dattatraya Bhakare wanted to develop a plot in Tilak Nagar. Society members didn’t agree to his terms and approached Tanasha for help. Special public prosecutor Raja Thakare submitted that as Tanasha supported the members, Bhakare conspired with gangster Bharat Nepali and Vijay Shetty to kill him.
The prosecution examined 84 witnesses, including eyewitnesses to the incident, Tanasha’s wife, niece and an aide present at home. Tanasha’s wife Reshma had deposed before the court in February 2017, identifying the two shooters who had entered the bedroom of their home and shot Tanasha. Among the six handed life imprisonment are Mohammed Sakib, the main shooter who shot Tanasha; Randhir Sinh, who fired shots in the air; Jafar Khan, who police claimed had arranged the shooters; Raviprakash Sinh and Pankaj Sinh, who were present with the shooters at Tanasha’s home.
Bhakare, Ravindra Varerkar, Vishwanath Shetty, Rajendra Chavan and Dinesh Bhandari were sentenced to 10-year imprisonment for their roles, including arranging money and other aspects of the conspiracy. According to the prosecution, Rs 90 lakh was paid by Bhakare for the execution of the plot. They were also found guilty under relevant sections of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act. On Wednesday, SPP Thakare sought harsh punishment for the convicts, saying that a message needs to be sent to society against such offences.
The advocates for the five men found guilty only under one section of MCOCA, attracting a minimum of five years in jail, sought minimum punishment as they had already spent nearly eight years in jail.
Thakare, however, said for the heinous nature of the offence, they cannot be released on the same day of their conviction if given the minimum sentence.