February 18, 2021 11:18:13 pm
There are 11 gangs active in the city at present, with over 425 of their members on record, and that with many gang “leaders” out of prison, surveillance of and preventive action against these criminal outfits have been intensified, Pune Police said.
The issue of organised crime outfits active in and around the city is in the spotlight once again after 54-year-old alleged gangster Gajanan Marne’s supporters held a massive road show celebrate his release from Taloja central prison on Monday.
Police in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad have booked Marne and his aides following the road show with an intention to keep them behind bars. In one of the cases, where he was arrested, the court has remanded him in judicial custody after which he was granted bail.
On Tuesday, Pune Police also booked out-of-prison gangster Sharad Mohol for an incident on January 26. But he and his aides too were granted bail.
According to latest police records, there are 11 active criminal gangs in Pune city and over 425 history-sheeters with known affiliations to these gangs. These gangs are identified by the names of their leaders. The 11 gangs known to be active in Pune city are allegedly run by Kamlakar alias Baba Bodke, Umesh Chavan, Suryakant alias Bandu Andekar, Bapu Nayar, Gajanan Marne, Nilesh Ghaywal, Ganesh Marne, Sharad Mohol, and Bunty Pawar. Two more gangs are identified by the names of Wasim Khada and Anwar Nawwa, who are known to be deceased but their gang members are reportedly still active.
Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Ashok Morale said, “We always keep a close eye on persons with known criminal records, their activities and other details. Stringent action is taken against them from time to time under various legal provisions. With most of the leaders of these gangs out of prison in the recent past, and also in the backdrop of recent developments, we have intensified surveillance and preventive action against these outfits to ensure law and order is maintained. We are closely monitoring activities, movements, affiliations of these criminals.”
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On Wednesday, Pune Police Commissioner Amitabh Gupta said actions initiated against Marne and Mohol, “was the beginning of coordinated action against organised crime” and harsher steps would be taken in future.
Officials said from time to time stringent acts like the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) and Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities (MPDA) Act, also known as “Gunda Act”, have been used to check gang activities.
An ACP-rank senior officer, who has served in Pune in the past and investigated cases of organised crime, said, “The organised crime in Pune over the last several decades has seen a transformation in the way they operate. In the 1970s and 1980s, gangs operated illegal gambling, liquor dens and small-time illegal businesses and fought among each other over territory. The late 1980s saw these criminals coming in contact with the Mumbai underworld, which continued into 1990s and later. During this time, gangs were involved in extortion along with other illegal activities. The city rapidly expanded over 25 years and resultant growth of real estate and industrial belt brought in a lot of money. Then criminals moved from traditional extortion and other illegal activities to present-day goldmine: land. These outfits are now known to involved in land grabbing, land dealings and extortion of money from big players in construction and real estate. These outfits also have links to Mathadi unions, cable operating businesses, scrap deals in industrial belts and more.”
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