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Gangster Ravi Pujari made extortion, threat calls to Pune builders, says police

The gangster had allegedly sent Shetty, his henchman, to meet a Pune-based builder and his manager at a city hotel on November 16, 2013, for “settling” a dispute over a piece of land in Kharadi.

Written by Chandan Haygunde | Pune | Published: February 25, 2020 11:11:47 am
Gangster Ravi Pujari, Pujari extradited, senegal, pune police, pune news, Naresh Jayram Shetty, indian express news Ravi Pujari. (File photo)

Fugitive underworld gangster Ravi Pujari, extradited to India from Senegal on Monday, was allegedly involved in several extortion cases in Pune city, police said. Pujari’s name had cropped up in November 2013, after the Pune City Police crime branch arrested his aide Naresh Jayram Shetty.

The gangster had allegedly sent Shetty, his henchman, to meet a Pune-based builder and his manager at a city hotel on November 16, 2013, for “settling” a dispute over a piece of land in Kharadi. When the builder had refused to settle the dispute, Pujari had allegedly called him up and threatened him with dire consequences if he filed a complaint against his aides in Pune.

The builder, a resident of Mukund Nagar area, subsequently had filed a complaint at Dattawadi police station under several sections of Indian Penal Code. It was then that the crime branch sleuths had arrested Shetty and a few others in this case. A native of Karnataka, Shetty was then a resident of Morwadi in Pimpri.

Police had later submitted in the court that Pujari was making calls to a prominent builder in Pune and demanding Rs 50 lakh as bail for his arrested aides. Police also suspected that Pujari and his aides were trying to extort money from a few other builders in the city.

In the past few years, the Pune City Police have arrested a few other close aides of Pujari for their alleged involvement in various criminal activities.
In August 2016, police had arrested Sadiq Ibrahim Bangali (39), an alleged sharp-shooter of Ravi Pujari gang, and Rihan Rafiq Sayyad (23), for the alleged possession of an automatic carbine gun, four pistols, a revolver and 69 cartridges. Police had then said that Bangali was involved in multiple criminal cases, including 2006 attack on film producer Mahesh Bhatt’s office in Mumbai.

In May 2017, the crime branch of Pune City Police had arrested Asif Yusuf Khan, a former member of the Ravi Pujari gang, who was found with one double-bore country-made gun, one pistol, an empty magazine and eight live cartridges. Khan was involved in the shooting at Ekta Builder’s office at Kondhwa in 2008. He had later worked for Suresh Pujari gang along with Sadiq Bangali.

Dreaded gangster Nilesh Dnyaneshwar Bharam, known to be a member of Ravi Pujari gang was arrested from Kamother in Navi Mumbai in July 2015, in a joint operation by Pune City and Navi Mumbai police. Bharam was earlier residing in Dhankawdi area of Pune and was allegedly involved in cases of robbery and dacoity in Pune city and district.

Pujari was arrested in South Africa and then extradited to Bengaluru from Senegal. He was produced before a court in Bengaluru Monday, which remanded him to police custody till March 7. Earlier, Pujari had worked as a bodyguard of gangster Sadhu Shetty in Mumbai. He later joined don Chhota Rajan’s gang. He later formed his own gang and is wanted in over 200 serious offences, including murder and extortion, in different states.

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