March 22, 2021 10:54:43 am
Over 100 people have been arrested so far by Pune Police in connection with the highway rally that was taken out after the release of gangster Gaja Marne from Taloja prison in February. Close to 30 high-end cars, that were part of the rally, have also been seized by Pune police till date, officials said.
In February, a special court for Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) had acquitted Marne (54) and his 13 aides in connection with the murder of Santosh Hiraman Gawade alias Pappu, a rival gang member, for the lack of evidence.
Prior to that, the court had acquitted him and his 21 aides in the murder of another rival gang member, Amol Hari Badhe. Both Gawade and Badhe were affiliated to Marne’s rival Nilesh Ghaywal gang. While Gawade was gunned down on November 4, 2014, Badhe was murdered on November 29, 2014.
After his release, a huge rally comprising of hundreds of high-end cars was taken out from Taloja Prison to his home in Kothrud via Pune-Mumbai Expressway.
With the public rally drawing public criticism at Maharashtra police, multiple cases were slapped in Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad, Raigad and Navi Mumbai jurisdiction against Marne and his aides. They were also charged for spreading social media posts glorifying the gangster.
Senior inspector Meghsham Dange of Kothrud police station said, “In connection to the offence registered at Kothrud police station, the number of arrests reached 101 on Sunday. We have till now seized 27 high-end cars which were part of the rally. Other police stations in Pune and other jurisdictions where offences have been registered, have also made multiple arrests and seizures in the case.”
After the rally, Marne evaded arrest for sometime but was finally arrested from Satara by Pune Rural police. He is currently in preventive detention for a year in Yerawada Central Prison under the provisions of Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities (MPDA) Act.
Police are also considering invoking the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against Marne and his gang members, officials said.
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