February 17, 2021 11:30:49 pm
While Pune City Police Commissioner Amitabh Gupta said that the Tuesday night arrests of gangsters Gajanan Marne and Sharad Mohol were the “beginning of coordinated action against organised crime in the city”, the two gang leaders and their aides were granted bail by the court in the respective offences registered against them.
Late on Tuesday night, Pune City police had arrested gangster Sharad Mohol (37) and his four aides. The action was taken around the same time of the arrest of gangster Gajanan alias Gaja Marne (54) — for whom a huge procession was taken out on Pune Mumbai-Expressway following his release from Taloja Central Jail on Monday — and his aides.
Following their arrests late on Tuesday night, the two gangsters and their aides were produced before magistrate courts in Pune on Wednesday amidst heavy police presence on the court premises. Marne and the eight gang members were initially remanded to judicial custody and were subsequently granted bail in the case registered at Kothrud police station. Mohol and his four aides were granted bail in the offence registered at Khadak police station.
The offence was registered against Mohol and two dozen aides on Tuesday under charges of unlawful assembly at the location of a religious ceremony in Guruwar Peth area on January 26 this year. Along with Mohol, four of his aides were placed under arrest late on Tuesday night.
Action against Mohol and his four aides came when the Pune Police were in the process of arresting another gangster, Gaja Marne, and his eight aides on Tuesday night. On Monday, Marne was released from the Taloja Central Prison in Navi Mumbai, and was arrested along with his eight accomplices on Tuesday night after an offence was registered against him for creating a ruckus in Kothrud area, police added.
Vijaysinh Thombare, the lawyer representing Marne and his aides said, “All nine persons including Marne were granted bail by the court. Meanwhile, Talegaon Dabhade police had made an application seeking the custody of my clients. The court has denied that plea as well.”
This action against Marne by Pune police came hours after Marne and his aides were booked by Talegaon Dabhade police station, under Pimpri-Chinchwad Police, for holding a large procession of vehicles and bursting crackers on Mumbai-Pune Expressway to celebrate his release, police said.
Speaking to The Indian Express after the arrests of Marne and Mohol, Police Commissioner Amitabh Gupta had said, “This is just the beginning of our coordinated action against organised crime. We intend to take harsher steps in the future.”
Last week, a special court for Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) had acquitted Marne and his 13 aides in connection with the 2014 murder of Santosh Hiraman Gawade alias Pappu, a rival gang member, citing lack of evidence. Earlier, the court had acquitted 21 of his 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.
Mohol and his aide Alok Bhalerao were charged for the June 2012 murder of suspected Indian Mujahideen member and terror case suspect Qateel Siddiqui, who was strangled to death inside a high-security cell of Yerawada jail in Pune. Siddiqui (27), a native of Darbhanga in Bihar, was at the time facing charges in terrorism cases in Delhi, Bangalore and Pune.
He was arrested by Delhi Police in November 2011 and was later handed over the Anti-Terrorism Squad of Maharashtra Police for probe. Both Mohol and Bhalerao were acquitted by a court in Pune in June 2019 in the Siddiqui murder case.
Police investigations in these cases against organised criminals have shown that gangs of Marne, Ghaywal, Mohol and few others have thrived due to their involvement in land and property dealings in the ever-expanding urban limits of Pune. There have been bouts of violence between these criminal gangs in the past to establish their dominance over specific areas.
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