February 12, 2021 10:21:14 pm
A special court for Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) on Friday acquitted gangster Gajanan, alias Gaja Pandharinath Marne alias Maharaj (44), along with his 13 aides in the murder case of rival gang member Pappu, alias Santosh Hiraman Gawade. Special MCOCA Judge A Y Thatte passed the order on Friday.
Pappu Gawade was a member of the Nilesh Ghaiwal gang. He was brutally murdered on November 4, 2014, in Lavale area allegedly by the Gaja Marne gang. An offence of murder in this case was lodged at Paud police station. Police had arrested Gaja Marne along with 13 others, including his right hand man Rupesh Krushnrao Marne in this case. Police had invoked the stringent MCOCA against the accused.
Police said there have been many clashes between the Marne and Ghywal gangs in the past. In 2008, members of Marne gang had opened fire on Ghaywal and Gawade in an attempt to kill them in Shastrinagar area. In retaliation, Sachin Kudle of Marne gang was murdered in 2010 in Kothrud and Gawade was an accused in the case. For taking revenge, Marne gang had allegedly eliminated Gawade on November 4, 2014, police said.
But the court has acquitted all accused in this case citing lack of evidence. Laywers Sudhir Shah, Vidyadhar Koshe, Vijaysinh Thombre, Vipul Dushing, Jitu Savant and Rahul Bharekar represented the accused.
Marne gang was also accused of killing another Ghaywal gang member Amol Hari Badhe (26) on November 29, 2014, near Vaikunth crematorium in Dattawadi area. Police had claimed that the Marne gang opened fire at Badhe and two more Ghaywal gang members – Santosh Kamble and Lakhan Lokhande. While Badhe died, the other two were injured in the incident. Police had arrested 22 persons, including Gajanan Marne in this case. But earlier this month, the special MCOCA court had acquitted all of them in that case, too, citing lack of evidence. With this, Gajanan Marne, who is currently lodged in Taloja Jail in Navi Mumbai, and the other accused, lodged in Yerawada Central Jail, are likely to be released.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines