A DAY after he was released from the Taloja Central Jail in Navi Mumbai, gangster Gajanan alias Gaja Marne was arrested along with his seven accomplices after an offence was registered against him for creating a ruckus in the Kothrud area of the city, police added. This comes hours after the 54-year-old criminal and his aides were booked for holding a procession and bursting crackers on Mumbai-Pune Expressway, police said.
According to police, an offence was registered against Marne and his aides Tuesday for creating a ruckus after reaching his residence in Kothrud area, where around 200 of his supporters were present. Marne, police sources said, was questioned by senior police officials at Kothrud police station during a significant part of the day.
Pune Police Commissioner Amitabh Gupta confirmed that after the offence was registered, Marne and some his aides were brought to Kothrud police station and were later placed under arrest on Tuesday night.
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The gangster and his men have also been booked for holding a procession of more than 40 to 50 vehicles from the Taloja jail to Pune to celebrate the former’s release. The case was registered at Talegaon Dabhade police station, under Pimpri Chinchwad jurisdiction, against Marne and his supporters under Indian Penal Code sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant), 143 (unlawful assembly) and 283 (causing obstruction in public way). A drone camera, used by his supporters to shoot the rally, has also been seized by the police.
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Inspector Bhaskar Jadhav of Talegaon Dabhade police station said, “As per our primary estimate, there were around 40 to 50 vehicles in the rally. We have seized the drone camera they were using to take images of the rally with an intention to terrorise people. We will soon make arrests in the case.”
Last week, 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. Earlier, the court had acquitted 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.
Advocate Vijaysinh Thombare, who has represented Marne, said the police have registered the offence out of bias. “He merely travelled from Taloja to Pune and was not aware of who was going to be there outside Taloja jail,” he said.
While Marne, who was in prison for nearly three years, his rival, Ghaywal, facing several cases, is also out on bail, police said. Ghaywal has also been externed by Pune police from the city limits in November last for two years.
According to police, the two gang and a few more criminal outfits are engaged in land and property dealings and there have been bouts of violence between them in the past.
State prison administration launches inquiry
An inquiry has been launched by Maharashtra State Prison Administration following reports that some vehicles, which were a part of the convoy taken out by Marne, had entered the outer property of Taloja Central Prison at the time of his release.
Additional Director General (Prison and Correctional Services) of Maharashtra Sunil Ramanand said, “I have sought an inquiry report on whether vehicles had entered the outer property of the Taloja prison premises. The Inspector General for Byculla Prison has been asked to conduct the inquiry. The inquiry will try to find out what had happened and whether all precautions like informing the police were taken on not.”
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