The Pune City police have invoked the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against 17 persons, including four police personnel and advocate Sushil Mancharkar. The former president of the Pimpri Chinchwad Bar Association was booked in connection with a conspiracy to murder former Congress corporator, Kailas Kadam. Police said of the 17 persons, 12 have been arrested and five are on the run.
In September, the crime branch of the city police had arrested Mancharkar along with Suresh Swaminathan Zende (29), of Dattaraj Colony, Thergaon, and Raju, alias Kalya Mahadev Patre (32), of Datta Nagar, Ambegaon, in the case.
Later, other the accused persons, including two policemen, Vijay Waghmare and Subhash Khade, and Santosh Chandilkar, alias Lubhya, were also arrested.
Police had alleged that Mancharkar arranged for the escape of three undertrials, Raju Patre, Santosh Jagtap and Santosh Chandilkar, lodged in Yerawada Jail, while they were being brought back from Pargaon Khandala in Satara district after a court appearance on April 10, 2017.
According to the case registered earlier, the undertrials fled from Katraj Ghat area after they got off the police van to “answer nature’s call”.
But investigation revealed that they fled from the premises of Morwadi court in Pimpri, allegedly with the help of police guards and advocate Mancharkar. According to the police, Mancharkar had allegedly offered Rs 30 lakh and firearms to the trio for killing Kadam, with whom he had a political dispute.
Meanwhile, Senior Police Inspector Nitin Bhoyar of the Crime Branch put up a proposal before the Additional Police Commissioner (crime), Pradeep Deshpande, to invoke MCOCA against the accused in the case, as investigation revealed that they allegedly committed the crime in an organised manner.
The proposal was accepted and an order was passed for taking action against the accused persons as per the provision of the MCOCA.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (crime), Sanjay Nikam is investigating the case. “Strict action will be taken even against the police personnel booked in this case as per the orders of Police Commissioner Rashmi Shukla,” read a press release issued on Thursday.
The police said that Mancharkar and a policeman, who were released on bail in the case, would be arrested again under MCOCA.
Meanwhile, MCOCA was also invoked against two ‘gangsters’, Kunal Rawal and Akshay Akolkar, associated with Suryakant, alias Bandu Andekar gang, along with six aides.
The duo have been booked in the past in connection with several criminal cases, including murder, attempt to murder, rioting, extortion and illegal possession of arms.